tricho·​til·​lo·​ma·​nia | \ ˌtri-kə-ˌti-lə-ˈmā-nē-ə How to pronounce trichotillomania (audio) \

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

Recent Examples on the Web In order to determine what patterns your trichotillomania follows, Dr. Gill suggests keeping a log. Casey Clark, SELF, 19 Oct. 2020 The study also notes that the severity of trichotillomania can ride in waves throughout a person’s life for days, weeks, even years at a time. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 13 Mar. 2020 Both adults living with fully realized trichotillomania and practitioners who treat repetitive behavioral disorders agree that the best way to approach a child with budding compulsive anxiety is with acceptance and gentle removal of triggers. Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2019 As with trichotillomania, these behaviors can’t be better explained by some other condition or disorder. Anna Borges, SELF, 13 Aug. 2019 And, in some cases, trichotillomania can have medical—not just aesthetic—side effects. Anna Borges, SELF, 13 Aug. 2019 Victoria's Secret Angel Sara Sampaio is opening up about a mental health issue that affects her everyday life: trichotillomania, a condition that gives her the urge to pluck the hair from her eyebrows. Temi Adebowale, Harper's BAZAAR, 30 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, Teen Vogue, 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, 25 July 2018

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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“Trichotillomania.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for trichotillomania


tricho·​til·​lo·​ma·​nia | \ -ˌtil-ə-ˈmā-nē-ə How to pronounce trichotillomania (audio) \

Medical Definition of trichotillomania

: abnormal desire to pull out one's hair

called also hairpulling, trich

Other Words from trichotillomania

trichotillomanic \ -​ˈman-​ik How to pronounce trichotillomania (audio) \ adjective


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