1. Psychiatry. of or relating to schizophrenia: Not all of these patients are schizophrenic.
  2. of or relating to conflicting or inconsistent elements; characterized by unusual disparity: It wavers from comedy to thriller to docudrama—a totally schizophrenic plot!
noun Psychiatry.
  1. a person with schizophrenia: Schizophrenics are often unable to focus on certain objects.

Origin of schizophrenic

First recorded in 1910–15; schizophren(ia) + -ic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for schizo-phrenic


  1. exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia
  2. informal, offensive experiencing or maintaining contradictory attitudes, emotions, etc
  1. a schizophrenic person


It is preferable to refer to a person as someone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia rather than as a schizophrenic . The general use of the word to mean 'contradictory' is also best avoided. Suitable alternatives are contradictory, inconsistent, incoherent
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 schizo-phrenic



1912; see schizophrenia + -ic. Also from 1912 as a noun, "schizophrenic person." Transferred adjectival sense of "contradictory, inconsistent" is by 1955.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

schizo-phrenic in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or affected by schizophrenia.
  1. One who is affected with schizophrenia.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.