• synonyms


[mal-uh-juhst-muh nt]
See more synonyms for maladjustment on Thesaurus.com
  1. bad or unsatisfactory adjustment.
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Origin of maladjustment

First recorded in 1825–35; mal- + adjustment
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for maladjustment

insanity, schizophrenia, inhibition, breakdown, psychopathy, abnormality, madness, aberration, derangement, deviation, phobia, affliction, instability, compulsion, obsession, hysteria, maladjustment, neurasthenia, depression, lunacy

Examples from the Web for maladjustment

Historical Examples of maladjustment

  • The second great problem is that of maladjustment in thought.

    Church Cooperation in Community Life

    Paul L. Vogt

  • The third problem is that of maladjustment of buildings to community needs.

  • It represents rather a defect—a maladjustment which should be rectified.

    Supply and Demand

    Hubert D. Henderson

  • But in fact such activity is explosive, and due to maladjustment with surroundings.

  • It was in those days that I first became critical of my life and burdened with a sense of error and maladjustment.

    Tono Bungay

    H. G. Wells

British Dictionary definitions for maladjustment


  1. psychol a failure to meet the demands of society, such as coping with problems and social relationships: usually reflected in emotional instability
  2. faulty or bad adjustment
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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 maladjustment


1823, from mal- + adjustment.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

maladjustment in Medicine


  1. Faulty or inadequate adjustment.
  2. Inability to adjust to the demands of interpersonal relationships and the stresses of daily living.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

maladjustment in Culture


Inability to react successfully and satisfactorily to the demands of one's environment. Though the term applies to a wide range of biological and social conditions, it often implies an individual's failure to meet social or cultural expectations. In psychology, the term generally refers to unsatisfactory behavior patterns that cause anxiety and require psychotherapy.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.