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[byoo-lim-ee-uh, -lee-mee-uh, boo-, buh-] /byuˈlɪm i ə, -ˈli mi ə, bu-, bə-/
Also called hyperphagia. Pathology. abnormally voracious appetite or unnaturally constant hunger.
Also called binge-purge syndrome, bulimia nervosa
[nur-voh-suh] /nɜrˈvoʊ sə/ (Show IPA)
. Psychiatry. a habitual disturbance in eating behavior mostly affecting young women of normal weight, characterized by frequent episodes of grossly excessive food intake followed by self-induced vomiting to avert weight gain.
Also, boulimia.
Origin of bulimia
1350-1400; Middle English < New Latin < Greek boulīmía extreme hunger, equivalent to bou- intensive prefix (derivative of bou-, stem of boûs ox) + līm(ós) hunger + -ia -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bulimia
  • Binge eating may occur on its own or in the context of an eating disorder, such as bulimia.
  • Anorexia, bulimia or another self-destructive illness seems to be a major criterion for winning the contests.
  • Heart problems are a particular risk when anorexia is compounded by bulimia and the use of ipecac, a drug that causes vomiting.
  • bulimia is marked by recurrent episodes of binge eating followed by self-induced-vomiting.
  • Many of the sites dispute that anorexia and bulimia are diseases, portraying them instead as philosophies of life.
  • Some patients with bulimia benefit from antidepressants, too.
  • bulimia is related to deep psychological issues and feelings of lack of control.
British Dictionary definitions for bulimia


pathologically insatiable hunger, esp when caused by a brain lesion
Also called bulimia nervosa. a disorder characterized by compulsive overeating followed by vomiting: sometimes associated with anxiety about gaining weight
Derived Forms
bulimic, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin, from Greek boulimia, from bous ox + limos hunger
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bulimia

1976, Modern Latin, from Greek boulimia, "ravenous hunger" as a disease, literally "ox-hunger," from bou-, intensive prefix (originally from bous "ox;" see cow (n.)) + limos "hunger," from PIE root *leie- "to waste away." As a psychological disorder, technically bulemia nervosa. Englished bulimy was used from late 14c. in a medical sense of "ravishing hunger."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bulimia in Medicine

bulimia bu·lim·i·a (byōō-lĭm'ē-ə, -lē'mē-ə, bōō-)
A chronic eating disorder involving repeated and secretive episodes of eating, characterized by uncontrolled rapid ingestion of large quantities of food over a short period of time, followed by self-induced vomiting, purging, and anorexia and accompanied by feelings of guilt, depression, or self-disgust. Also called binge-eating syndrome, bulimia nervosa, hyperorexia.

bu·lim'ic adj. & n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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bulimia in Science
An eating disorder characterized by uncontrolled rapid ingestion of large quantities of food over a short period of time, followed by self-induced vomiting, fasting, and other measures to prevent weight gain. It is most common among young women and teenage girls.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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bulimia in Culture

bulimia definition

An eating disorder that is characterized by episodic binge eating followed by feelings of guilt or depression and sometimes self-induced vomiting.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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