mythomania

noun

mytho·​ma·​nia ˌmi-thə-ˈmā-nē-ə How to pronounce mythomania (audio)
-nyə
: an excessive or abnormal propensity for lying and exaggerating
mythomaniac noun or adjective

Did you know?

We wouldn't lie to you about the history of mythomania. It comes, via the French mythomanie, from two ancient roots: the Greek mŷthos (meaning "myth") and the Late Latin mania (meaning "insanity marked by uncontrolled emotion or excitement"). One myth about mythomania is that it's a very old word; actually, the earliest known uses of the term date only from the beginning of the 20th century. It was predated by a related word, mythomaniac, which appeared around the middle of the 19th century. Mythomaniac referred to someone who was obsessed with or passionate about myths before it was applied to individuals affected with or exhibiting mythomania.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from French mythomanie, from Greek mŷthos "utterance, tale, myth" + French -o- -o- + -manie -mania

Note: As a medical term introduced by the French psychiatrist Ernest Dupré (1862-1921), probably first in "La mythomanie: Étude psychologique et médico-légale du mensonge et de la fabulation morbides," Le Bulletin médical, no. 23 (25 mars 1905), p. 263.

First Known Use

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mythomania was circa 1909

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Cite this Entry

“Mythomania.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mythomania. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

mythomania

noun
mytho·​ma·​nia ˌmith-ə-ˈmā-nē-ə, -nyə How to pronounce mythomania (audio)
: an excessive or abnormal propensity for lying and exaggerating
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