noun \di-ˈlir-ē-əm\

: a mental state in which you are confused and not able to think or speak clearly usually because of fever or some other illness

: a state of wild excitement and great happiness

Full Definition of DELIRIUM

:  an acute mental disturbance characterized by confused thinking and disrupted attention usually accompanied by disordered speech and hallucinations
:  frenzied excitement <he would stride about his room in a delirium of joy — Thomas Wolfe>

Examples of DELIRIUM

  1. In her delirium, nothing she said made any sense.
  2. <shoppers running around in a delirium the day before Christmas>

Origin of DELIRIUM

Latin, from delirare to be crazy, literally, to leave the furrow (in plowing), from de- + lira furrow — more at learn
First Known Use: circa 1563

Other Psychology Terms

fetish, hypochondria, intelligence, mania, narcissism, neurosis, pathological, psychosis, schadenfreude, subliminal


noun \di-ˈlir-ē-əm\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of DELIRIUM

: a mental disturbance characterized by confusion, disordered speech, and hallucinations


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Condition of disorientation, confused thinking, and rapid alternation between mental states. The patient is restless, cannot concentrate, and undergoes emotional changes (e.g., anxiety, apathy, euphoria), sometimes with hallucinations. Delirium usually results from a disorder affecting the brain such as central nervous system infection, head trauma, or mental disorder. In severe cases of withdrawal from alcohol, delirium tremens results not from the excessive alcohol consumption alone but from exhaustion, malnutrition (particularly lack of thiamine), and dehydration.


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