Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Munchausen syndrome

play
noun Mun·chau·sen syndrome \ˈmən-ˌchau̇-zən-, ˌmən-ˈchau̇-\

Definition of Munchausen syndrome

  1. :  a psychological disorder characterized by the feigning of the symptoms of a disease or injury in order to undergo diagnostic tests, hospitalization, or medical or surgical treatment —called also Munchausen's syndrome



Origin of munchausen syndrome

Baron K. F. H. von Münchhausen †1797 German soldier and proverbial teller of exaggerated tales


First Known Use: 1951


Medical Dictionary

Munchausen syndrome

play
noun Mun·chau·sen syndrome \ˈmən-ˌchau̇-zən-\

Medical Definition of Munchausen syndrome

  1. :  a psychological disorder characterized by the feigning of the symptoms of a disease or injury in order to undergo diagnostic tests, hospitalization, or medical or surgical treatment



Biographical Note for munchausen syndrome

Münchhausen \ˈmuenḵ-ˌhau̇-zən\play , Karl Friedrich Hieronymous, Freiherr von (1720–1797), German soldier. As a retired cavalry officer Münchhausen acquired a reputation as a raconteur of preposterous stories about his adventures as a soldier, hunter, and sportsman. From 1781 to 1783 a collection of such tales was published, with authorship generally attributed to the baron. An English version of the tales was published in 1785 under the title Baron Munchausen's Narrative of His Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia. Only years later in 1824 was it revealed that the author of the English edition was Rudolph Erich Raspe (1737–1794). Other authors used these stories as source material to exaggerate still further or to compose other tall tales of a similar mode. Gradually Münchhausen's name became associated with the amusingly preposterous story or the lie winningly told.

Variants of munchausen syndrome

or Munchausen's syndrome \-zənz-\play

Learn More about munchausen syndrome


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Munchausen syndrome? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the Celtic May Day festival

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily angry maudlin prompt
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ