[ ek-oh-ley-lee-uh ]

  1. Psychiatry. the uncontrollable and immediate repetition of words spoken by another person.

  2. 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

Other words from echolalia

  • ech·o·lal·ic [ek-oh-lal-ik, -ley-lik], /ˌɛk oʊˈlæl ɪk, -ˈleɪ lɪk/, adjective

Words Nearby echolalia Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use echolalia in a sentence

  • It is an interesting fact that of twelve cases of echolalia that have come under our observation, fifty per cent.

  • Another psychical stigma—echolalia—is occasionally, though less frequently, observed in these cases.

  • echolalia, however, is not an exclusive appurtenance of those who tic.

  • echolalia in the blind has been made the subject of an interesting study by Noir.

  • In addition, she suffered from echolalia, echokinesis, and folie du doute.

British Dictionary definitions for echolalia


/ (ˌɛkəʊˈleɪlɪə) /

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

Origin of echolalia

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

Derived forms of echolalia

  • echolalic (ˌɛkəʊˈlælɪk), adjective

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