Medical Dictionary

selective mutism


Medical Definition of selective mutism

  1. :  an anxiety disorder of childhood characterized by consistent failure to speak in specific social settings (as at school) despite having the ability to speak normally in other settings (as at home) If your child talks a lot at home but clams up at school—not uttering a word or even a laugh—she may have selective mutism, an extreme manifestation of anxiety.—Scholastic Parent and Child, February/March 2006—called also elective mutism

Seen and Heard

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


a favoring of the simplest explanation

Get Word of the Day daily email!