catalepsy

noun

cat·​a·​lep·​sy ˈka-tə-ˌlep-sē How to pronounce catalepsy (audio)
plural catalepsies
: a trancelike state marked by loss of voluntary motion in which the limbs remain in whatever position they are placed
cataleptic adjective or noun
cataleptically adverb

Examples of catalepsy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Raphael, the expedition guide, has a form of catalepsy and sleeps for decades at a time. Sara Wheeler, New York Times, 15 Sep. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'catalepsy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English catalempsi, from Medieval Latin catalepsia, from Late Latin catalepsis, from Greek katalēpsis, literally, act of seizing, from katalambanein to seize, from kata- + lambanein to take — more at latch

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of catalepsy was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near catalepsy

Cite this Entry

“Catalepsy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/catalepsy. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

catalepsy

noun
cat·​a·​lep·​sy ˈkat-ᵊl-ˌep-sē How to pronounce catalepsy (audio)
: a condition in which there is a loss of movement and the arms and legs stay in any position in which they are placed

Medical Definition

catalepsy

noun
cat·​a·​lep·​sy ˈkat-ᵊl-ˌep-sē How to pronounce catalepsy (audio)
plural catalepsies
: a trancelike state of consciousness (as that occurring in catatonic schizophrenia) that is marked by a loss of voluntary motion and a fixed posture in which the limbs remain in whatever position they are placed compare waxy flexibility
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!