personality disorder

noun

plural personality disorders
: any of various psychological disorders that are characterized by persistent inflexible or impaired patterns of thought and behavior that usually cause difficulties in forming and maintaining interpersonal relationships and in meeting the daily demands of one's personal and work life and that typically become apparent during adolescence or early adulthood

Note: Personality disorders are typically accompanied by three types of presentations: intense and unstable emotions, eccentric and odd behavior, or extreme fear or nervousness.

As a diagnosable personality disorder, narcissism occurs more often in males than females, often developing in the teenage years or early adulthood and becoming more extreme with age.Jane E. Brody
Recent studies have shown that personality disorders, especially the one seen most frequently in clinical settings—borderline personality disorder—are common …, are associated with high levels of self-injury and suicide, and have a considerable, stressful effect on families.S. Charles Schultz
see antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, multiple personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder

Examples of personality disorder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Shot on a budget, this thriller about a man with dissociative personality disorder (as well as a few other, um, issues) who takes a group of teenage girls hostage arrived with relatively little hype and wound up being one of the director’s biggest hits. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 18 Jan. 2024 The presence of such symptoms, the researchers found, was strongly predictive of personality disorders in young adulthood. Victoria Costello, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2012 The committee charged with designing measures for personality disorders for the DSM-III discussed its confusing status when debating its inclusion. Manvir Singh, The New Yorker, 6 May 2024 These are often people who have PTSD, depression, anxiety, or personality disorders, says Hallford. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 14 May 2024 Some members noted that key symptoms such as identity disturbance, outbursts of anger, and unstable interpersonal relations also featured in narcissistic and histrionic personality disorders. Manvir Singh, The New Yorker, 6 May 2024 This personality disorder can include the behaviors below. Catherine Dibenedetto, Health, 19 Mar. 2024 Psychiatrists who specialize in therapy tend to treat patients with long-lasting depression, anxiety and personality disorders, according to research. Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2023 However, researchers have been looking for evidence of protective factors regarding personality disorders in general.6 Living With Schizoid Personality Disorder This personality disorder is long-term and likely will not improve with time. Jessica Migala, Health, 17 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'personality disorder.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of personality disorder was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near personality disorder

Cite this Entry

“Personality disorder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/personality%20disorder. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

personality disorder

noun
: any of various psychological disorders that are characterized by persistent inflexible or impaired patterns of thought and behavior that usually cause difficulties in forming and maintaining interpersonal relationships and in meeting the daily demands of one's personal and work life and that typically become apparent during adolescence or early adulthood

Note: Personality disorders are typically accompanied by three types of presentations: intense and unstable emotions, eccentric and odd behavior, or extreme fear or nervousness.

As a diagnosable personality disorder, narcissism occurs more often in males than females, often developing in the teenage years or early adulthood and becoming more extreme with age.Jane E. Brody
Recent studies have shown that personality disorders, especially the one seen most frequently in clinical settings—borderline personality disorder—are common …, are associated with high levels of self-injury and suicide, and have a considerable, stressful effect on families.S. Charles Schultz
see antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, multiple personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder
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