[mal-uh-juhst-muh nt]


bad or unsatisfactory adjustment.

Origin of maladjustment

First recorded in 1825–35; mal- + adjustment Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for maladjustment

Historical Examples of maladjustment

British Dictionary definitions for maladjustment



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

maladjustment in Medicine




Faulty or inadequate adjustment.
Inability to adjust to the demands of interpersonal relationships and the stresses of daily living.
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.

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.