• synonyms


  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.
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Origin of echolalia

First recorded in 1880–85; echo + -lalia
Related formsech·o·lal·ic [ek-oh-lal-ik, -ley-lik] /ˌɛk oʊˈlæl ɪk, -ˈleɪ lɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for echolalia

Historical Examples of echolalia

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

    Tics and Their Treatment

    Henry Meigne

  • 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.

  • The echolalia that still appears now and then really belongs to this.

  • The coincidence is a rational one; blindness and echolalia are united as cause and effect.

British Dictionary definitions for echolalia


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

Word Origin and History for echolalia


1885, from Greek ekho (see echo (n.)) + lalia "talk, prattle, a speaking," from lalein "to speak, prattle," of echoic origin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

echolalia in Medicine


  1. The immediate and involuntary repetition of words or phrases just spoken by others, often a symptom of autism or some types of schizophrenia.echophrasia
  2. An infant's repetition of the sounds made by others, a normal occurrence in childhood development.echophrasia
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Related formsech′o•lalic (-lĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.