epilepsy

noun
ep·​i·​lep·​sy | \ ˈe-pə-ˌlep-sē How to pronounce epilepsy (audio) \
plural epilepsies

Definition of epilepsy

: any of various disorders marked by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain and typically manifested by sudden brief episodes of altered or diminished consciousness, involuntary movements, or convulsions

Examples of epilepsy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The team took recordings from 27 people with epilepsy, who were being monitored for surgery; the monitoring requires a few weeks' stay in the hospital, with electrodes implanted through the skull and into the brain. Benedict Carey New York Times, Star Tribune, "Brain scientists explore how we perceive time," 14 Nov. 2020 The youngest child of George V and Queen Mary, John was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of four, and was sent to live at Sandringham House where he was cared for by his governess. Michael Stillwell, Town & Country, "The British Royal Family Tree," 11 Nov. 2020 Her son has epilepsy and autism and worked with an aide while at school. Gina Rich, Good Housekeeping, "Parents Who Butt In During Remote School Are Just Trying to Help — But They’re Doing the Opposite," 28 Oct. 2020 Even my adviser David Axelrod—who had experienced the challenges of getting specialized care for a daughter with severe epilepsy and had left journalism to become a political consultant in part to pay for her treatment—had his doubts. Barack Obama, The New Yorker, "A President Looks Back on His Toughest Fight," 26 Oct. 2020 Treatment with steroids, phenobarbital and Valium failed to curb the symptoms of his epilepsy. Matt Richtel, New York Times, "Brain Surgery for a ‘Sweet Boy’: Saving Cronutt the Sea Lion," 8 Oct. 2020 Boyce, who was best known for starring in Disney Channel’s Descendants and Jessie, passed away in July 2019 of a seizure caused by epilepsy. Ashley Chervinski, refinery29.com, "Why Hubie Halloween Includes A Sweet Tribute To Cameron Boyce," 8 Oct. 2020 This cured his epilepsy, but left him unable to form new long-term memories. Doug Johnson, National Geographic, "How you perceive time may depend on your income," 22 Sep. 2020 The highest-complexity services currently in St. Paul are for patients with diabetes as well as neuroscience needs, such as epilepsy. Christopher Snowbeck, Star Tribune, "Children's Minnesota looks at job cuts, structural moves as pandemic, other pressures build," 25 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epilepsy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of epilepsy

1543, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for epilepsy

Middle English epilencie, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French epelempsie, modification of Late Latin epilepsia, from Greek epilēpsia, from epilambanein to seize, from epi- + lambanein to take, seize — more at latch

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about epilepsy

Time Traveler for epilepsy

Time Traveler

The first known use of epilepsy was in 1543

See more words from the same year

Statistics for epilepsy

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Epilepsy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epilepsy. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for epilepsy

epilepsy

noun
How to pronounce epilepsy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of epilepsy

medical : a disorder of the nervous system that can cause people to suddenly become unconscious and to have violent, uncontrolled movements of the body

epilepsy

noun
ep·​i·​lep·​sy | \ ˈe-pə-ˌlep-sē How to pronounce epilepsy (audio) \

Kids Definition of epilepsy

: a disorder of the nervous system that causes people to have seizures

epilepsy

noun
ep·​i·​lep·​sy | \ ˈep-ə-ˌlep-sē How to pronounce epilepsy (audio) \
plural epilepsies

Medical Definition of epilepsy

: any of various disorders marked by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain and typically manifested by sudden brief episodes of altered or diminished consciousness, involuntary movements, or convulsions — see absence epilepsy, grand mal sense 1, petit mal sense 1 focal epilepsy, jacksonian epilepsy, myoclonic epilepsy, temporal lobe epilepsy

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on epilepsy

Nglish: Translation of epilepsy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of epilepsy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about epilepsy

Comments on epilepsy

What made you want to look up epilepsy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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