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

Definition of trichotillomania 

: an abnormal desire to pull out one's hair

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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

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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 Described as a serious complication of trichotillomania — the disorder in which someone compulsively pulls out their own hair — the syndrome mostly occurs in children and adolescents. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "‘Warn your children’: Teen who liked to chew her hair dies of infected hairball," 13 Sep. 2017 Or of trichotillomania, the disorder so often co-morbid with OCD that compels me to pull out my hair. Emily Dixon, Time, "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Is No Joke," 9 Aug. 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.

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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

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The first known use of trichotillomania was circa 1903

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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

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