[fawr-mi-key-shuh n]


a tactile hallucination involving the belief that something is crawling on the body or under the skin.

Origin of formication

1700–10; < Latin (Pliny) formīcātiōn-, stem of formīcātiō a sensation that ants are crawling on one's skin, equivalent to formicā(re) to have such a sensation (verbal derivative of formīca ant) + -tiōn- -tion
Can be confusedformication fornication Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for formication

Historical Examples of formication

British Dictionary definitions for formication



a sensation of insects crawling on the skin; symptom of a nerve disorder
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 formication

crawling sensation as of ants on the skin, 1707, from Latin formicationem, noun of action from formicare "to crawl like ants," from formica "ant" (see Formica (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

formication in Medicine




An abnormal sensation as of insects running over or into the skin, associated with cocaine intoxication or disease of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.