tricho·​til·​lo·​ma·​nia | \ ˌtri-kə-ˌti-lə-ˈmā-nē-ə \

Definition of trichotillomania

: an abnormal desire to pull out one's hair

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

The word trichotillomania derives from the Greek trich- ("hair") and tillein ("to pull or pluck"), along with the suffix -mania (from mainesthai, meaning "to be mad"). People suffering from trichotillomania will routinely pluck hair from the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes or other parts of the body, usually impulsively but sometimes with careful deliberation (such as by using tweezers). Some researchers believe that it may be a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The word for this condition first appeared in English around the dawn of the 20th century (it's generally thought to have been first coined in French by a French dermatologist).

Examples of trichotillomania in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

So much deeper, in fact, that when Sara Sampaio was recently asked a benign question about her eyebrow maintenance, the model gave an honest answer about her trichotillomania. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Sara Sampaio Says She Has "Gaps" in Her Eyebrows Due to Trichotillomania," 25 July 2018 So much deeper, in fact, that when Sara Sampaio was recently asked a benign question about her eyebrow maintenance, the model gave an honest answer about her trichotillomania. Andrea Park, Allure, "Model Sara Sampaio Reveals the “Gaps” in Her Eyebrows Are Due to Trichotillomania," 25 July 2018 Other health conditions, like skin-picking disorder (also called excoriation disorder) or trichotillomania (also known as hair-pulling disorder), have a more obvious link to stress. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Here's How Stress Actually Impacts Your Skin," 14 May 2018 Dermatillomania is classified as one of several body-focused repetitive behaviors—a category of compulsive self-grooming activities that also includes trichotillomania, or hair pulling, and nail biting, among others. Laura Dorwart, SELF, "How K Beauty Helps Me Manage My Skin-Picking Disorder," 14 May 2018 At the same time, her brows were becoming sparser and thinner, due to trichotillomania, a disorder that causes Liams to habitually pull out her hair. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Women With No Eyebrows Explain Why Arches Aren't Necessary," 14 May 2018 Either way, trichotillomania is most often a chronic, lifetime condition, but lots of people do recover, and recovery is a team sport. Kimi Vesel, SELF, "How I Deal With Trichotillomania in the Workplace," 7 Oct. 2017 Research on both trichophagia and trichotillomania is limited, but treatment options such as therapy and medication are available. Lily Herman, Allure, "Teen With "Rapunzel Syndrome" Reportedly Dies After Eating Own Hair," 18 Sep. 2017 Only about 30% of people who have trichotillomania will eat their hair, according to medical research, and only about 1% ingest enough hair to cause medical complications or require surgical removal., "Did a British Teen Die After Eating Her Own Hair? Here's What to Know About a Rare Condition Called "Rapunzel Syndrome"," 15 Sep. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of trichotillomania

circa 1903, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for trichotillomania

New Latin, from trich- + Greek tillein to pull, pluck + New Latin mania

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about trichotillomania

Share trichotillomania

Listen to Our Podcast about trichotillomania

Statistics for trichotillomania

Last Updated

22 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trichotillomania

The first known use of trichotillomania was circa 1903

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for trichotillomania


tricho·​til·​lo·​ma·​nia | \ -ˌtil-ə-ˈmā-nē-ə \

Medical Definition of trichotillomania

: abnormal desire to pull out one's hair

called also hairpulling, trich

Other Words from trichotillomania

trichotillomanic \ -​ˈman-​ik \ adjective

Comments on trichotillomania

What made you want to look up trichotillomania? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!