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delirium

[dih-leer-ee-uh m]
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noun, plural de·lir·i·ums, de·lir·i·a [dih-leer-ee-uh] /dɪˈlɪər i ə/.
  1. Pathology. a more or less temporary disorder of the mental faculties, as in fevers, disturbances of consciousness, or intoxication, characterized by restlessness, excitement, delusions, hallucinations, etc.
  2. a state of violent excitement or emotion.
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Origin of delirium

1590–1600; < Latin dēlīrium frenzy, equivalent to dēlīr(āre) (see deliration) + -ium -ium
Related formssem·i·de·lir·i·um, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for delirium

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was like a hurricane of delirium rushing by and laying every head in the dust.

  • Through the thin wall of my workroom I could hear Joe in his delirium.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • Pregnancy and childbirth play a large part in their delirium.

  • In her delirium she imagines herself to be queen of the world.

  • This explains why they may be associated in the delirium of unbridled passions.


British Dictionary definitions for delirium

delirium

noun plural -liriums or -liria (-ˈlɪrɪə)
  1. a state of excitement and mental confusion, often accompanied by hallucinations, caused by high fever, poisoning, brain injury, etc
  2. violent excitement or emotion; frenzy
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Derived Formsdeliriant, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Latin: madness, from dēlīrāre, literally: to swerve from a furrow, hence be crazy, from de- + līra ridge, furrow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for delirium

n.

1590s, from Latin delirium "madness," from deliriare "be crazy, rave," literally "go off the furrow," a plowing metaphor, from phrase de lire, from de "off, away" (see de-) + lira "furrow, earth thrown up between two furrows," from PIE *leis- "track, furrow."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

delirium in Medicine

delirium

(dĭ-lîrē-əm)
n. pl. de•lir•i•ums
  1. A temporary state of mental confusion resulting from high fever, intoxication, shock, or other causes, and characterized by anxiety, disorientation, memory impairment, hallucinations, trembling, and incoherent speech.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.