schizophrenia

noun
schizo·​phre·​nia | \ ˌskit-sə-ˈfrē-nē-ə How to pronounce schizophrenia (audio) \

Definition of schizophrenia

1 medical : a mental illness that is characterized by disturbances in thought (such as delusions), perception (such as hallucinations), and behavior (such as disorganized speech or catatonic behavior), by a loss of emotional responsiveness and extreme apathy, and by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life

Note: Schizophrenia often involves an inability to orient oneself with reality, a withdrawal from social interactions, and a failure to integrate thoughts with emotions so that emotional expression is inappropriate. There are several subtypes of schizophrenia, including paranoid schizophrenia and those types marked by catatonia or hebephrenia.

2 : contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes both parties … have exhibited schizophrenia over the desired outcome— Elizabeth Drew

Other Words from schizophrenia

schizophrenic \ ˌskit-​sə-​ˈfre-​nik How to pronounce schizophrenia (audio) \ adjective or noun
schizophrenically \ ˌskit-​sə-​ˈfre-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce schizophrenia (audio) \ adverb

Examples of schizophrenia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In some cases, derealization results from serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, or hallucinogens such as LSD. John Horgan, Scientific American, 14 June 2022 Neurodevelopmental disorders encompass a broad array of issues like autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, learning difficulties and cerebral palsy that are associated with how the brain and nervous system develop. Robert Hart, Forbes, 9 June 2022 The center, operated by a nonprofit along with UC Health, provides inpatient and outpatient mental health care, counseling and provides research for treatments of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses. Brooks Sutherland, The Enquirer, 4 May 2022 Papini’s organization and planning would seem to make conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression an unlikely explanation, said Lamoureux, who specializes in complicated criminal and civil cases. NBC News, 18 Apr. 2022 Others are for conditions like multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and Covid-19 infection. Grace Browne, Wired, 14 Mar. 2022 Beginning in his teens, Dan was beset by mental troubles variously diagnosed, and medicated, as schizophrenia, depression or manic depression. New York Times, 4 Mar. 2022 The report stated Parrish poisoned the man’s lemonade with an antipsychotic drug, Seroquel, which is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, the station reported. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, 15 Dec. 2021 Brown said Smith, who was arrested last week after outcries from the public and elected officials, is on medication for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, 6 Dec. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of schizophrenia

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for schizophrenia

borrowed from German Schizophrenie, from schizo- schizo- + Greek phren-, phrḗn "midriff, seat of the passions, mind, wits" + German -ie -ia entry 1, after Hebephrenie hebephrenia, Paraphrenie "mental illness with delusional symptoms" — more at frenetic

Note: The German term was introduced by the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939) in a lecture, "Die Prognose der Dementia Praecox (Schizophreniegruppe)," given at the annual meeting of the Deutsche Verein für Psychiatrie (German Union for Psychiatry) in Berlin on April 24, 1908. The text of the lecture, augmented by restorations abbreviated from the oral presentation, was published in the Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und psychisch-gerichtliche Medizin, 56. Band (1908), pp. 436-64. The word is introduced in Bleuler's opening remarks: "Im Interesse der Diskussion möchte ich nochmals hervorheben, dass es sich bei dem Kräpelinschen Dementia praecox weder um eine notwendige Dementia, noch um eine notwendige Praecocitas handelt. Aus diesem Grunde und weil man von dem Ausdruck Dementia praecox keine adjektivischen und substantivischen Weiterbildungen machen kann, erlaube ich mir, hier das Wort Schizophrenie zur Bezeichnung des Kräpelinschen Begriffes zu benützen. Ich glaube nämlich, dass die Zerreissung oder Spaltung der psychischen Funktionen ein hervorragendes Symptom der ganzen Gruppe sei, und werde dies am anderen Orte begründen." ("In the interests of discussion I would like to emphasize once again that Kraepelin's dementia praecox is neither necessarily a form of dementia, nor a matter of early onset. On this basis, and because it is not possible to derive further adjectives or nouns from the expression dementia praecox, I allow myself here to employ the word schizophrenia to designate Kraepelin's concept. I believe that the tearing apart or splitting of psychic functions is a prominent symptom of the whole group, as I will substantiate elsewhere.") — The pronunciation of -z- as /ts/ presumably reflects the influence of the German source.

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The first known use of schizophrenia was in 1909

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Dictionary Entries Near schizophrenia

schizophrene

schizophrenia

Schizophyceae

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Schizophrenia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/schizophrenia. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for schizophrenia

schizophrenia

noun
schizo·​phre·​nia | \ ˌskit-sə-ˈfrē-nē-ə How to pronounce schizophrenia (audio) \

Medical Definition of schizophrenia

: a mental illness that is characterized by disturbances in thought (as delusions), perception (as hallucinations), and behavior (as disorganized speech or catatonic behavior), by a loss of emotional responsiveness and extreme apathy, and by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life

Note: Schizophrenia often involves an inability to orient oneself with reality, a withdrawal from social interactions, and a failure to integrate thoughts with emotions so that emotional expression is inappropriate. There are several subtypes of schizophrenia, including paranoid schizophrenia and those types marked by catatonia or hebephrenia.

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