[ nahr-kuh-lep-see ]
/ ˈnɑr kəˌlɛp si /

noun Pathology.

a condition characterized by frequent and uncontrollable periods of deep sleep.

Origin of narcolepsy

First recorded in 1875–80; narco- + (epi)lepsy
Related formsnar·co·lep·tic, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for narcolepsy


/ (ˈnɑːkəˌlɛpsɪ) /


pathol a rare condition characterized by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep
Derived Formsnarcoleptic, adjective
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 narcolepsy



1880, from French narcolepsie, coined 1880 by French physician Jean-Baptiste-Édouard Gélineau (1859-1928) from comb. form of Greek narke "numbness, stupor" (see narcotic) + lepsis "an attack, seizure," from leps-, future stem of lambanein "take hold of, grasp" (see analemma). Related: Narcoleptic; narcolept.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for narcolepsy


[ närkə-lĕp′sē ]


A disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable, though often brief, attacks of deep sleep, sometimes accompanied by paralysis and hallucinations.hypnolepsy
Related formsnar′co•leptic (-lĕptĭk) adj. n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.