dys·​lex·​ia | \ dis-ˈlek-sē-ə How to pronounce dyslexia (audio) \

Definition of dyslexia

: a variable often familial learning disability involving difficulties in acquiring and processing language that is typically manifested by a lack of proficiency in reading, spelling, and writing

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Other Words from dyslexia

dyslexic \ dis-​ˈlek-​sik How to pronounce dyslexic (audio) \ adjective or noun

Examples of dyslexia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite having dyslexia, Dr. Goodenough excelled and went to study mathematics at Yale University. Sarah Mcfarlane, WSJ, "The Battery Pioneer Who, at Age 96, Keeps Going and Going," 9 Aug. 2018 Thanks from students with dyslexia In one scene, for example, members of the ensemble portrayed the struggle of keeping their inner, childhood dreams alive while tackling aptitude tests, content mastery and paths to a career. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood High’s student-written ‘White Noise’ to be onstage at state festival," 14 Nov. 2019 Though dyslexia can’t be vanquished, it can be remediated. Caryn M. Sullivan, Twin Cities, "Caryn M. Sullivan: Changing the narrative about dyslexia," 13 Oct. 2019 At this point the school system doesn’t screen for dyslexia. Jess Nocera, baltimoresun.com, "Howard schools superintendent addresses special education issues at town hall," 8 Oct. 2019 And although perhaps not as highly specialized in teaching kids with dyslexia as Lawrence or Julie Billiart, Saint Rocco has interventionists on staff to make sure the school provides the accommodations outlined in King’s IEP. Leila Atassi, cleveland.com, "Contessa Korper is disheartened, searching for a special ed school for King: A Greater Cleveland," 23 July 2019 The law calls for schools to use proven ways to assess students’ reading skills and to identify children with reading deficiencies or dyslexia, and to provide those students with special assistance and tutoring. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Lawmakers hear plans on improving reading, math education," 10 Jan. 2020 Republican Senator Bill Cassidy urged the Association of American Medical Colleges to improve practices for accommodating students who have learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, who take the MCAT. Kimberly Leonard, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Healthcare: 2020 Democrats ready to go further than Trump on vaping," 7 Jan. 2020 Neurodivergent people include those with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, and other people with cognitive differences. Gwen Moran, Fortune, "As Workers Become Harder to Find, Microsoft and Goldman Sachs Hope Neurodiverse Talent Can Be the Missing Piece," 7 Dec. 2019

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

circa 1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dyslexia

earlier, "impairment in the ability to read due to a brain injury," borrowed from French & German; French dyslexie, borrowed from German Dyslexie, from dys- dys- + -lexie (in Alexie alexia)

Note: German Dyslexie was introduced by the ophthalmologist Rudolf Berlin (1833-97), apparently first in print in Medicinisches Correspondenzblatt des Württembergischen Ärztlichen Landesvereins, vol. 53 (1883), p. 209. Berlin gave an oral presentation on dyslexia at a professional meeting in June, 1883 ("VIII. Wandersammlung der Südwestdeutschen Neurologen und Irrenärtze in Baden", published in Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, Band 15 [1884], pp. 276-78) in which he explained the coinage as follows: "Die mehr oder weniger deutlich ausgesprochene Plötzlichkeit, mit welcher die Krankheit auftritt und die begleitenden, resp. im Verlaufe sich entwickelnden cerebrale Symptome machen es höchst wahrscheinlich dass die pathologisch-anatomische Ursache der Lesestörung ebenfalls eine cerebrale ist. Redner bezeichnete die letzere deshalb, um diese Auffassung zu markiren, nach Analogie des gebräuchlichen Ausdruckes Alexie als 'Dyslexie.' Dabei macht er auf die etymologischen Bedenken aufmerksam, welche diese Bezeichnung entgegenstehen, die Aufstellung eines physiologisch weniger anfechtbaren Ausdruckes anheimgebend." ("The more or less clearly pronounced suddenness with which the disorder appears, and the cerebral symptoms that accompany it or develop in its course, make it highly probable that the pathological and anatomical cause of the disturbance in reading is likewise a cerebral one. To make this conception clear, the speaker [i.e., Berlin] therefore designates the disturbance, by analogy with the customary expression alexia, as 'dyslexia.' At the same time while he draws attention to the etymological reservations that might oppose this designation, he yields to the establishment of an expression less contestable physiologically.")

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Time Traveler for dyslexia

Time Traveler

The first known use of dyslexia was circa 1888

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Statistics for dyslexia

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dyslexia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dyslexia. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for dyslexia


How to pronounce dyslexia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dyslexia

medical : a condition in the brain that makes it hard for a person to read, write, and spell


dys·​lex·​ia | \ dis-ˈlek-sē-ə How to pronounce dyslexia (audio) \

Kids Definition of dyslexia

: a learning disability in which a person usually has a problem in reading, spelling, and writing

Other Words from dyslexia

dyslexic \ -​ˈlek-​sik \ adjective


dys·​lex·​ia | \ dis-ˈlek-sē-ə How to pronounce dyslexia (audio) \

Medical Definition of dyslexia

: a variable often familial learning disability that involves difficulties in acquiring and processing language and that is typically manifested by a lack of proficiency in reading, spelling, and writing

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More from Merriam-Webster on dyslexia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dyslexia

Spanish Central: Translation of dyslexia

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dyslexia

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