am·​ne·​sia | \ am-ˈnē-zhə \

Definition of amnesia

1 : loss of memory due usually to brain injury, shock, fatigue, repression, or illness
2 : a gap in one's memory
3 : the selective overlooking or ignoring of events or acts that are not favorable or useful to one's purpose or position … Americans seemed to develop a willful forgetfulness about the nation's longest military conflict, an amnesia that lasted for nearly a decade.— Alan Brinkley

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Other Words from amnesia

amnesiac \ -​zhē-​ˌak , -​zē-​ \ or amnesic \ -​zik , -​sik \ adjective or noun

Examples of amnesia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

So far, the most popular theory is that he's been living with amnesia. Maria Tallarico, Glamour, "9 Jane the Virgin Fan Theories That Will Keep You Up at Night," 11 Jan. 2019 Ultimately, his injuries left him with brain damage and amnesia about his life before the attack. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Before you see Welcome to Marwen, stream the documentary about the true story behind it," 21 Dec. 2018 The symptoms of a concussion can include a headache, confusion, amnesia around the event that caused the concussion, dizziness, a ringing in their ears, nausea and vomiting, slurred speech, and fatigue. Korin Miller, SELF, "‘The Good Place’ Star Jameela Jamil Says She Developed Seizures After Trying to Eat a Cookie Off the Floor," 2 Oct. 2018 This is the curious Phantom Zone in which the Officially Vacant teams exist in the collective and deliberate amnesia of the NCAA’s signature event. Charles P. Pierce,, "It's Time for the NCAA to Reinstate the Vacated Teams to College Basketball's Record Books," 1 Apr. 2018 Advertisement Annemie, who goes by Mie, has retrograde amnesia courtesy of a car accident that happened just a few days before the show starts. Rebecca Farley,, "Is Tabula Rasa The New The OA?," 15 Mar. 2018 The collective amnesia in the administration and Congress is astounding. Ryan Tracy, WSJ, "Fed Rethinks How to Define a Big Bank," 2 Oct. 2018 Blair apparently has amnesia because for the second time in her short life she's being duped by a royal posing as a commoner. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Every Single Episode of Gossip Girl, Ranked," 19 Sep. 2018 In 1926 Archie left Christie for another woman, and Christie’s sudden disappearance following this rupture (afterward attributed to amnesia) is the fulcrum of Ms. Thompson’s book. Anna Mundow, WSJ, "‘Agatha Christie’ Review: The Queen of the Cozy," 2 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amnesia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of amnesia

1772, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for amnesia

New Latin, from Greek amnēsia forgetfulness, alteration of amnēstia

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Dictionary Entries near amnesia

ammunition scuttle







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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for amnesia

The first known use of amnesia was in 1772

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English Language Learners Definition of amnesia

medical : a condition in which a person is unable to remember things because of brain injury, shock, or illness


am·​ne·​sia | \ am-ˈnē-zhə \

Kids Definition of amnesia

: an abnormal and usually complete loss of one's memory


am·​ne·​sia | \ am-ˈnē-zhə \

Medical Definition of amnesia

1 : loss of memory sometimes including the memory of personal identity due to brain injury, shock, fatigue, repression, or illness or sometimes induced by anesthesia a period of amnesia after the wreck
2 : a gap in one's memory an amnesia concerning her high-school years

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a servile follower or underling

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