noun Psychiatry.
an inability to speak, due to a physical defect, conscious refusal, or psychogenic inhibition.

1815–25; < Neo-Latin mūtismus. See mute, -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mutism (ˈmjuːtɪzəm)
1.  the state of being mute
2.  psychiatry
 a.  a refusal to speak although the mechanism of speech is not damaged
 b.  the lack of development of speech, due usually to early deafness

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"state of being mute," 1824, from Fr. mutisme (1741), from L. mutus (see mute).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mutism mut·ism (myōō'tĭz'əm)
Absence of the faculty of speech.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
He was clearly insane-disoriented and delusional, with periods of incomprehensible speech alternating with periods of mutism.
It is something altogether different when the elective mutism of scientists with appropriate expertise hides science in silence.
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