an·​he·​do·​nia ˌan-(ˌ)hē-ˈdō-nē-ə How to pronounce anhedonia (audio)
: a psychological condition characterized by inability to experience pleasure in normally pleasurable acts
anhedonic adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web She was being treated for depression, including different medications, the fourth of which finally helped to address a condition called anhedonia, an inability to experience pleasure. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, 16 May 2020 But do Carol’s fuguelike depression, Anna’s psychosis and Bonnie’s clenched anhedonia really share DNA? Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2020 Another type dampens reward networks, robbing a person of the ability to feel pleasure, a depression symptom called anhedonia. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, 20 Aug. 2019 Chronic-pain patients typically also suffer from anhedonia—the inability to experience pleasure—and research suggests that their brains’ reward systems are wired slightly differently from those in other brains. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, 9 May 2016 How was the anhedonia hypothesis overturned, and when? Angela Chen, The Verge, 27 Mar. 2018 Nolan has confused his native island with the anhedonia in his head. Christian Lorentzen, New Republic, 25 July 2017 See More

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

Word History


New Latin, from a- entry 2 + Greek hēdonē pleasure — more at hedonism

First Known Use

1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anhedonia was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near anhedonia

Cite this Entry

“Anhedonia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition


an·​he·​do·​nia ˌan-hē-ˈdō-nē-ə How to pronounce anhedonia (audio)
: a psychological condition characterized by inability to experience pleasure in acts which normally produce it compare analgesia
anhedonic adjective
anhedonic noun
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