neurasthenia

noun
neur·​as·​the·​nia | \ ˌnu̇r-əs-ˈthē-nē-ə How to pronounce neurasthenia (audio) , ˌnyu̇r- \

Definition of neurasthenia

: a condition that is characterized especially by physical and mental exhaustion usually with accompanying symptoms (such as headache and irritability), is of unknown cause but is often associated with depression or emotional stress, and is sometimes considered similar to or identical with chronic fatigue syndrome

Other Words from neurasthenia

neurasthenic \ ˌnu̇r-​əs-​ˈthe-​nik How to pronounce neurasthenia (audio) , -​ˈthē-​ , ˌnyu̇r-​ \ adjective or noun
neurasthenically \ ˌnu̇r-​əs-​ˈthe-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce neurasthenia (audio) , -​ˈthē-​ , ˌnyu̇r-​ \ adverb

Examples of neurasthenia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Peabody’s muscular Christianity reflected elite anxieties at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries around a loss of manliness and a spreading neurasthenia compared with the rougher pre-industrial times. Doug Henwood, Harper's magazine, 28 Oct. 2019 The fashionable malaise of neurasthenia was only one of the disorders thought to be caused by a depletion of energies. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, 6 July 2018 Then neurasthenia was a fashionable disease, and a lot of writers and artists embraced it with a passion. National Geographic, 19 Aug. 2016 During the second half of the 19th century, neurologists described a condition called neurasthenia, thought to have been brought on by the accelerating pace of modern life. Nitsuh Abebe, New York Times, 18 Apr. 2017 Nineteenth century neurasthenia theories read very similarly. National Geographic, 19 Aug. 2016 The neurasthenia diagnosis affected both in the male and the female population. National Geographic, 19 Aug. 2016

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

circa 1833, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for neurasthenia

neur- + asthenia, probably after Italian neurastenia

Note: Italian neurastenia (now nevrastenia) appears to have been introduced, in reference to what was taken to be a form of tetanus (tetano nervoso or tetano astenico "nervous" or "asthenic tetanus"), by the Pavia physician Giuseppe Bergamaschi in "Osservazioni medico-pratiche sul tetano," Giornale di medicina pratica, edited by Valeriano Luigi Brera, fascicolo 29 (settembre-ottobre 1816). Bergamaschi's neurastenia is cited as "neurostenia" in John Mason Good's The Study of Medicine, 2nd edition, vol. 4 (London, 1825), p. 353. The word was reintroduced to refer to a psychological disorder by both the American psychiatrist E.H. Van Deusen ("Observations on a form of nervous prostration, (neurasthenia,) culminating in insanity," American Journal of Insanity, April, 1869, vol. 45, pp. 445-61) and the American neurologist George Miller Beard ("Neurasthenia, or nervous exhaustion," Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, new series vol. 3, no. 13, April 29, 1869, pp. 217-21).

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The first known use of neurasthenia was circa 1833

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Cite this Entry

“Neurasthenia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neurasthenia. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for neurasthenia

neurasthenia

noun
neur·​as·​the·​nia | \ ˌn(y)u̇r-əs-ˈthē-nē-ə How to pronounce neurasthenia (audio) \

Medical Definition of neurasthenia

: a condition that is characterized especially by physical and mental exhaustion usually with accompanying symptoms (as headaches, insomnia, and irritability), is of unknown cause but is often associated with depression or emotional stress, and is sometimes considered similar to or identical with chronic fatigue syndrome

More from Merriam-Webster on neurasthenia

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about neurasthenia

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