elective mutism

[ ih-lek-tiv myoo-tiz-uhm ]
/ ɪˈlɛk tɪv ˈmyu tɪz əm /

noun Psychiatry.

an unwillingness to speak in nearly all social environments, a condition not attributed to an organic speech disorder but rather to a defiant refusal that may stem from depression or trauma.

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Origin of elective mutism

First recorded in 1945–1950
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Medical definitions for elective mutism

elective mutism
[ ĭ-lĕktĭv ]

n.

A form of childhood mutism in which the ability to speak is intact, but there is a refusal to speak in almost all social situations.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.