aph·​an·​ta·​sia ˌa-ˌfan-ˈtā-zh(ē-)ə How to pronounce aphantasia (audio)
: the inability to form mental images of real or imaginary people, places, or things
Derek has a condition called aphantasia, which means he is unable to voluntarily produce mental imagery.Brooke McAfee
aphantasic adjective

Word History


a- entry 2 + Greek phantasía "appearance to the consciousness, imagination" — more at fantasy entry 1

Note: The term was introduced by Adam Zeman, et al., "Lives without imagery—congenital aphantasia," Cortex, vol. 73 (December, 2015), pp. 378-80.

First Known Use

2015, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aphantasia was in 2015

Dictionary Entries Near aphantasia

Cite this Entry

“Aphantasia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aphantasia. Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

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