de·​re·​al·​i·​za·​tion (ˌ)dē-ˌrē-ə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce derealization (audio)
: a feeling of altered reality (such as that occurring in schizophrenia or in some drug reactions) in which one's surroundings appear unreal or unfamiliar

Examples of derealization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Instead, his colleagues arrested a 20-year-old psychiatric patient at St. Joseph's State Hospital who was being treated for auditory hallucinations, derealization and drug misuse. Emily Palmer, Peoplemag, 26 June 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 The derealization episodes also returned. Mike Mariani, Wired, 16 Aug. 2022 Other aspects of ketamine's effects, 'derealization' and 'amnesia', did not consistently predict the antidepressant outcome. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2018 Could derealization have inspired all these metaphysical conjectures? John Horgan, Scientific American, 14 June 2022 Along with dissociative amnesia and depersonalization/derealization disorder, DID is one of three types of dissociative disorders, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) explains. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, 20 Apr. 2021 People with dissociative psychiatric conditions such as derealization or depersonalization syndrome report that their perceptual worlds, even their own selves, lack a sense of reality. Anil K. Seth, Scientific American, 27 Aug. 2019

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

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of derealization was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near derealization

Cite this Entry

“Derealization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


variants or British derealisation
: a feeling of altered reality that occurs often in schizophrenia and in some drug reactions
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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