de·​per·​son·​al·​i·​za·​tion (ˌ)dē-ˌpər-snə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce depersonalization (audio)
: an act or process of depersonalizing
: the quality or state of being depersonalized
: a psychopathological syndrome characterized by loss of identity and feelings of unreality and strangeness about one's own behavior

Examples of depersonalization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Burnout, characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a diminished sense of personal accomplishment, can significantly impact the well-being and quality of care provided by HCPs. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 5 July 2023 Her parents, who were both doctors, realized that Sophie was describing episodes of depersonalization—also called derealization—a serious psychiatric symptom in which a person becomes detached from their own reality and begins to doubt whether the world around them is real. Mike Mariani, Wired, 16 Aug. 2022 And for decades she was treated with the blunt instruments of old-school psychiatry — the tropes of Freud, electroshock therapy — before receiving a diagnosis only a few years ago of depersonalization disorder, a response to trauma in which the sufferer loses her sense of self. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2021 Michels said depersonalization or feeling as if one is in a video game is common. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 19 Mar. 2023 Some of these symptoms may mimic PTSD, says Schwanz, like hypervigilance and depersonalization. Alex Orlando, Discover Magazine, 14 July 2020 Burnout — the exhaustion (physical, mental and emotional) caused by workplace stress that leads to disengagement and depersonalization — contributes to moral suffering/distress among nurses and health care providers. Lauren Ghazal, CNN, 12 Jan. 2023 Niciu and colleagues report that acute experiences of 'depersonalization' in response to a dose of ketamine predicts the subsequent improvement in depression symptoms (HAMD17 score) after 7 days. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2018 Maslach defined burnout as a psychological syndrome involving emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a diminished sense of personal accomplishment for people working in challenging situations. Denise Russo, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of depersonalization was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near depersonalization

Cite this Entry

“Depersonalization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


variants or British depersonalisation
: the act or process of causing or the state resulting from loss of the sense of personal identity
especially : a psychopathological syndrome characterized by loss of identity and feelings of unreality or strangeness about one's own behavior
depersonalize transitive verb
depersonalized or British depersonalised; depersonalizing or British depersonalising

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