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mutism

[myoo-tiz-uh m] /ˈmyu tɪz əm/
noun, Psychiatry.
1.
an inability to speak, due to a physical defect, conscious refusal, or psychogenic inhibition.
Origin of mutism
1815-1825
1815-25; < New Latin mūtismus. See mute, -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mutism
Historical Examples
  • Later, this was followed by mutism, refusal to eat, and stupor.

  • The most constant feature was her mutism, but even that was a few times interrupted.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • Her mutism and refusal of food she was unable to account for.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • mutism, as used in psychiatry, is an abnormal inhibition to speech.

  • Dumb walls merely, their mutism leaves large scope to imagination, and one may conjecture any but the right thing.

  • It is not unlike the ordinary stupor in the fact that there was intense inactivity and mutism with great tenseness.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • From the description this again seems to have been a typical stupor (immobility, mutism, tendency to catalepsy, rigidity).

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • During the night she is reported to have varied between stiffness with mutism and a more relaxed state.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • Cousin Primitivo himself, with all the wisdom of the ancients, could not draw him out of his mutism.

    An Eagle Flight Jos Rizal
  • When deafness is associated with mutism, he thinks it is often due merely to the inattention of the stuporous state.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
British Dictionary definitions for mutism

mutism

/ˈmjuːtɪzəm/
noun
1.
the state of being mute
2.
(psychiatry)
  1. a refusal to speak although the mechanism of speech is not damaged
  2. the lack of development of speech, due usually to early deafness
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 mutism
n.

"state of being mute," 1824, from French mutisme (1741), from Latin mutus (see mute (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mutism in Medicine

mutism mut·ism (myōō'tĭz'əm)
n.
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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