syn·​es·​the·​sia | \ ˌsi-nəs-ˈthē-zh(ē-)ə How to pronounce synesthesia (audio) \

Definition of synesthesia

1 : a concomitant sensation especially : a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated
2 : the condition marked by the experience of such sensations

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Other Words from synesthesia

synesthetic \ ˌsi-​nəs-​ˈthe-​tik How to pronounce synesthetic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of synesthesia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And the third, one of the most common and well-studied forms, is grapheme-color synesthesia, in which numbers and letters are associated with certain colors. Cari Romm, The Cut, "I Can’t Stop Reading This Twitter Thread on People Who Literally See Time," 10 May 2018 Our hope was that the DNA data might point to shared biological processes as candidates for involvement in synesthesia. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Unraveling the Genetics Behind Why Some People “See” Sound and “Hear” Color," 12 Mar. 2018 For now, however, the biological basis of this synesthesia remains unknown. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "Why Some People “Hear” Silent GIFs," 21 Mar. 2018 In people with synesthesia, activation of one sense triggers perception of another. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Can you hear these silent GIFs? You may have a new form of synesthesia.," 3 May 2018 Researchers have reported these extraordinary cases of sensory mixing, called synesthesia—loosely translated to perceived together—for more than 130 years. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "There are people who hear color—and they may have hyper-connected brains," 7 Mar. 2018 However, conditions like synesthesia, color blindness and tone deafness are a few minor examples to the contrary. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A cardinal's song, or a spiritual experience?," 5 July 2018 That’s probably what gives you synesthesia, the ability to see a flavor or feel a sound. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Author Michael Pollan on Recode Decode," 22 May 2018 The 27-year-old painter and Lee’s Summit native has a form of synesthesia, a cross-wiring of the brain where a stimulus in one sense provokes a response in another. David Frese, kansascity, "Meet an artist who sees orange in Michael Jackson songs and blue in the letter A | The Kansas City Star," 12 Apr. 2018

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

circa 1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for synesthesia

New Latin, from syn- + -esthesia (as in anesthesia)

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Statistics for synesthesia

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for synesthesia

The first known use of synesthesia was circa 1891

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More Definitions for synesthesia


variants: or chiefly British synaesthesia \ ˌsin-​əs-​ˈthē-​zh(ē-​)ə How to pronounce synaesthesia (audio) \

Medical Definition of synesthesia

: a concomitant sensation and especially a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated also : the condition marked by the experience of such sensations

Other Words from synesthesia

synesthetic or chiefly British synaesthetic \ -​ˈthet-​ik How to pronounce synaesthetic (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on synesthesia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with synesthesia Encyclopedia article about synesthesia

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