dementia

noun

de·​men·​tia di-ˈmen(t)-shə How to pronounce dementia (audio)
-shē-ə
1
: a usually progressive condition (such as Alzheimer's disease) marked by the development of multiple cognitive deficits (such as memory impairment, aphasia, and the inability to plan and initiate complex behavior)
dementia is diagnosed only when both memory and another cognitive function are each affected severely enough to interfere with a person's ability to carry out routine daily activities.The Journal of the American Medical Association
2
: madness, insanity
a fanaticism bordering on dementia
demential adjective

Examples of dementia in a Sentence

This patient suffers from dementia. a new study on age-related dementias
Recent Examples on the Web The legislation also would prevent facilities from hiring or continuing to employ people whose names are on Adult Protective Services’ abuse registry and increase dementia training requirements for workers at facilities licensed to serve residents who need the most help. Wyatt Buchanan, The Arizona Republic, 5 Apr. 2024 In 2018, the former president’s doctor revealed that Mr. Trump insisted on taking a dementia screening test known as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and answered all 30 questions correctly. Michael D. Shear Michael D. Shear, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2024 The cause was complications from a form of dementia known as logopenic primary progressive aphasia, according to his husband John Augustine. Brent Lang, Variety, 3 Apr. 2024 The health of Jay Leno’s wife, Mavis Leno, is continuing to decline following her dementia diagnosis. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 1 Apr. 2024 Researchers use music in therapy for Alzheimer's and dementia patients because specific songs and tunes may help activate memories. Suzanne Nuyen, NPR, 29 Mar. 2024 For a long time, Edgerly wondered why so many people struggled to learn the cause of their dementia. Cathie Anderson, Sacramento Bee, 29 Mar. 2024 People with Alzheimer’s experience dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. Kamal Morgan, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 28 Mar. 2024 Mild cognitive impairment – an early stage of dementia – is widely underdiagnosed in people 65 and older. Soeren Mattke, Discover Magazine, 28 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dementia.' 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

borrowed from Latin dēmentia "derangement, insanity, folly," noun derivative of Latin dēment-, dēmens "out of one's mind, frenzied, insane," from dē- de- + -ment, -mens, adjective derivative of ment-, mens "power of reason, mental balance, mind" — more at mind entry 1

First Known Use

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dementia was in 1806

Dictionary Entries Near dementia

Cite this Entry

“Dementia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dementia. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

dementia

noun
de·​men·​tia di-ˈmen-chə How to pronounce dementia (audio)
1
: a condition of the brain that is marked especially by a deterioration in the ability to think, reason, or remember
2
: a condition of deteriorating mental functioning

Medical Definition

dementia

noun
de·​men·​tia di-ˈmen-chə How to pronounce dementia (audio)
: a usually progressive condition (as Alzheimer's disease) marked by the development of multiple cognitive deficits (as memory impairment, aphasia, and inability to plan and initiate complex behavior)
demential adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on dementia

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