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

Other Words from dyslexia

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

Examples of dyslexia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The combination of his dyslexia and family history make for an interesting pathology, marked at once by shame and determination. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 The character is further described as a loner within the law enforcement community who hides the severe dyslexia that went untreated during his traumatic childhood in foster care. Joe Otterson, Variety, 18 Apr. 2022 Burnett announced her resignation as city clerk in November 2021 after claiming the city had refused to accommodate her dyslexia and suggested that, as a woman of Filipino descent, racial discrimination may have been an issue. Brian Amaral, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Apr. 2022 People would talk as if my songs, my achievements, my career etc. had been achieved despite things like my dyslexia. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 1 Apr. 2022 The fact of the matter, though, is that most people who are diagnosed are taught how to deal with their dyslexia rather than play to its strengths. Stephen Frost, Forbes, 20 Jan. 2022 Eventually, the future politician realized there were benefits to his dyslexia. Sam Gillette, PEOPLE.com, 10 Dec. 2021 Printed with a dyslexia-friendly font, the latest brilliant addition to Andrea Beaty and David Roberts' best-selling series is a poignant exercise in acceptance, self-love, and diversity. Ew Staff, EW.com, 7 Dec. 2021 With their dyslexia diagnosed, both Yudofsky and Bauer thrived in school and went on to study at Yale. Rebecca Szkutak, Forbes, 2 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of dyslexia was circa 1888

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Last Updated

1 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dyslexia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dyslexia. Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for dyslexia


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

More from Merriam-Webster on dyslexia

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dyslexia


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