incomprehensible speech in an imaginary language, sometimes occurring in a trance state, an episode of religious ecstasy, or schizophrenia.
What is it called when a person is “speaking in tongues?”A person who has what is known as “the gift of tongues” is usually in the midst of religious ecstasy, trance, or delirium. The speaker — and often witnesses too — believe that they are being possessed by a supernatural spirit or channeling the language of a deity or divine being, although the words are incomprehensible otherwise. Experts call this phenomenon glossolalia, a Greek compound of the words …
- glossopharyngeal breathing
Compare speaking in tongues.
Origin of glossolalia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for glossolalia
Besides, we find in Lola's case a high degree of glossolalia.Lola|Henny Kindermann
Word Origin for glossolalia
C19: New Latin, from glosso- + Greek lalein to speak, babble
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
"speaking in tongues," 1879, from Greek glossa "tongue, language" (see gloss (n.2)) + lalia "talk, prattle, a speaking," from lalein "to speak, prattle," of echoic origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Fabricated, nonmeaningful speech, especially associated with trances or certain schizophrenic syndromes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.