avo·​li·​tion | \ (ˈ)ā-ˌvō-ˈli-shən, -və- How to pronounce avolition (audio) \

Medical Definition of avolition

: a lack of interest or engagement in goal-directed behavior Many people with schizophrenia experience avolition, or apathy, feeling drained of energy and of interest in normal goals and unable to start or follow through on a course of action. — Ronald J. Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7th edition, 2010

Other Words from avolition

avolitional \ (ˈ)ā-​ˌvō-​ˈlish-​nəl, -​ˈli-​shə-​nᵊl, -​və-​ How to pronounce avolitional (audio) \ adjective
In studies at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, we have found that schizophrenia patients with avolitional pathology are a minority and that the presence of that pathology helps define a separate putative disease entity within the schizophrenia syndrome … — William T. Carpenter, The American Journal of Psychiatry, September 2010

Learn More about avolition

Cite this Entry

“Avolition.” Merriam-Webster.com Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/avolition. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

Comments on avolition

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!