[ ek-oh-ley-lee-uh ]
/ ˌɛk oʊˈleɪ li ə /


Psychiatry. the uncontrollable and immediate repetition of words spoken by another person.
the imitation by a baby of the vocal sounds produced by others, occurring as a natural phase of childhood development.

Origin of echolalia

First recorded in 1880–85; echo + -lalia

Related forms

ech·o·lal·ic [ek-oh-lal-ik, -ley-lik] /ˌɛk oʊˈlæl ɪk, -ˈleɪ lɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for echolalia

British Dictionary definitions for echolalia


/ (ˌɛkəʊˈleɪlɪə) /


psychiatry the tendency to repeat mechanically words just spoken by another person: can occur in cases of brain damage, mental retardation, and schizophrenia

Derived Forms

echolalic (ˌɛkəʊˈlælɪk), adjective

Word Origin for echolalia

C19: from New Latin, from echo + Greek lalia talk, chatter, from lalein to chatter
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

Medicine definitions for echolalia


[ ĕk′ō-lālē-ə ]


The immediate and involuntary repetition of words or phrases just spoken by others, often a symptom of autism or some types of schizophrenia.echophrasia
An infant's repetition of the sounds made by others, a normal occurrence in childhood development.echophrasia

Related forms

ech′o•lalic (-lĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.