aphasia

noun
apha·​sia | \ ə-ˈfā-zh(ē-)ə How to pronounce aphasia (audio) \

Definition of aphasia

medical : loss or impairment of the power to use or comprehend words usually resulting from brain damage (as from a stroke, head injury, or infection) Aphasia, the cruel illness resulting from a stroke, allowed Jean to understand what was said to her but prevented her from clearly replying.— Robert Giroux

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Other Words from aphasia

aphasic \ ə-​ˈfā-​zik How to pronounce aphasic (audio) \ noun or adjective

Examples of aphasia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Activities director Joelle Campbell says engaging with the music helps patients with dementia, aphasia and other disorders. Aj Willingham, CNN, "A baby in Parliament, a new cat celebrity and the most wholesome choir ever," 24 Aug. 2019 The unpredictable and debilitating symptoms mimic a stroke and can include these visual auras as well as sensory auras (numbness and tingling), motor auras (partial temporary paralysis), and aphasia (the inability to comprehend or speak). Sunny Fitzgerald, Glamour, "It Took a 400-Mile Trek for Me to Finally Stop Resenting My Body," 14 Aug. 2019 She was rushed to the E.R. after collapsing at the gym with an excruciating headache and was left with temporary aphasia, or language impairment, after her first surgery. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Emilia Clarke Just Shared Never-Before-Seen Photos Taken After Her Brain Surgery," 8 Apr. 2019 Those with aphasia, who’ve lost the ability to speak, sometimes can sing familiar songs, and some can eventually be taught to transition from singing to talking. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Music can call back loved ones lost in Alzheimer's darkness: 'So much we can do to improve quality of life'," 11 June 2018 Those with aphasia, who’ve lost the ability to speak, sometimes can sing familiar songs, and some can eventually be taught to transition from singing to talking. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Music can call back loved ones lost in Alzheimer's darkness: 'So much we can do to improve quality of life'," 11 June 2018 Those with aphasia, who’ve lost the ability to speak, sometimes can sing familiar songs, and some can eventually be taught to transition from singing to talking. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Music can call back loved ones lost in Alzheimer's darkness: 'So much we can do to improve quality of life'," 11 June 2018 The patient who had the hemorrhage suffered aphasia — brain damage that makes speaking and communication difficult — but was still alive more nearly five years later. NBC News, "Modified polio vaccine helps fight deadly brain tumors," 26 June 2018 Those with aphasia, who’ve lost the ability to speak, sometimes can sing familiar songs, and some can eventually be taught to transition from singing to talking. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Music can call back loved ones lost in Alzheimer's darkness: 'So much we can do to improve quality of life'," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aphasia.' 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 aphasia

1864, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aphasia

borrowed from French aphasie, from a- a- entry 2 + Greek phásis "utterance, statement" (from pha-, variant stem of phēmí, phánai "to say, speak" + -sis -sis) + French -ie -ia entry 1 — more at ban entry 1

Note: French aphasie was introduced by the physician Armand Trousseau (1801-67) in "De l'aphasie, maladie décrite récemment sous le nom impropre de l'aphémie," Gazette des hôpitaux civils et militaires, tome 37, issue of January 12, 1864, pp. 13-14. As is evident from the title, Trousseau preferred aphasie to the term aphémie, introduced earlier by physician and anthropologist Pierre Paul Broca (1824-80). Broca replied in defense of his coinage in a letter published in the same periodical on January 23. The controversy, with translated extracts from Gazette des hôpitaux, is summarized by John Ryalls in "Where does the term 'aphasia' come from?," Brain and Language, vol. 21 (1984), pp. 358-63. Though Trousseau's arguments are linguistically not at all sound, his choice has nonetheless prevailed.

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Statistics for aphasia

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for aphasia

The first known use of aphasia was in 1864

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More Definitions for aphasia

aphasia

noun
apha·​sia | \ ə-ˈfā-zh(ē-)ə How to pronounce aphasia (audio) \

Medical Definition of aphasia

: loss or impairment of the power to use or comprehend words usually resulting from brain damage (as from a stroke, head injury, or infection) — see motor aphasia — compare amusia, anarthria

More from Merriam-Webster on aphasia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aphasia

Britannica English: Translation of aphasia for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about aphasia

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