nar·co·lep·sy | \ˈnär-kə-ˌlep-sē \
plural narcolepsies

Definition of narcolepsy 

: a condition characterized by brief attacks of deep sleep often occurring with cataplexy and hypnagogic hallucinations

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Other Words from narcolepsy

narcoleptic \ˌnär-kə-ˈlep-tik \ adjective

Examples of narcolepsy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Twenty thick white pills of a wakefulness-promoting agent called modafinil, which the FDA approved in 1998 to treat narcolepsy. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "I Hacked My Body So You Don't Have To," 25 June 2018 Methamphetamine is stimulant drug that is chemically similar to amphetamine, which is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Alexis Stevens, ajc, "EXCLUSIVE: Majority of those killed by Georgia officers tested positive for drugs," 9 July 2018 But more complex problems such as narcolepsy or seizures during sleep require lab testing, said Doghramji, the Jefferson sleep doctor. Sarah Gantz,, "The high cost of getting a good night's sleep," 6 June 2018 Ritalin, or methylphenidate, is in a class of medications called central nervous system stimulants, which are often used in children and adults to help control symptoms of ADHD or to treat narcolepsy. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "NRA's incoming president ties Ritalin to school shootings, but here's what the science says," 21 May 2018 Many teens suffer from treatable sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Why it’s ridiculous that high schools start so early in the morning," 6 Apr. 2018 It is estimated that only 25% of people who have narcolepsy have been diagnosed and are receiving treatment. Roy Bragg, San Antonio Express-News, "Better running through paperwork," 15 Apr. 2018 This question is for Povs: What was your perception of narcolepsy before meeting Sarah? Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Comedy / Small Screen Web series Super Narcoleptic Girl introduces a superhero who fights off crime and sleep," 22 Feb. 2018 Amphetamine is commonly used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. Matt Breen,, "Autopsy: Roy Halladay had morphine, sleeping aids in system at death," 19 Jan. 2018

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

1880, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for narcolepsy

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Last Updated

22 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for narcolepsy

The first known use of narcolepsy was in 1880

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More Definitions for narcolepsy



English Language Learners Definition of narcolepsy

medical : a medical condition in which someone suddenly falls into a deep sleep while talking, working, etc.


nar·co·lep·sy | \ˈnär-kə-ˌlep-sē \
plural narcolepsies

Medical Definition of narcolepsy 

: a condition characterized by brief attacks of deep sleep often occurring with cataplexy and hypnagogic hallucinations — compare hypersomnia sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on narcolepsy

Nglish: Translation of narcolepsy for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about narcolepsy

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