mental disease

noun

mental dis·​ease
: an abnormal mental condition that interferes with mental or emotional processes and internal behavioral control and that is not manifest only in repeated criminal or antisocial conduct
broadly : mental illness

Note: Mental disease and mental illness are in general use synonymous, but mental disease has developed a settled meaning in criminal law while mental illness is often explained or defined by reference to the medical community's understanding of the term.

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Cite this Entry

“Mental disease.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/mental%20disease. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

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