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[nahr-kuh-lep-see] /ˈnɑr kəˌlɛp si/
noun, Pathology
a condition characterized by frequent and uncontrollable periods of deep sleep.
Origin of narcolepsy
1875-80; narco- + (epi)lepsy
Related forms
narcoleptic, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for narcolepsy
  • narcolepsy is considered a primary hypersomnia condition.
  • So far, the drug is licensed only for the treatment of narcolepsy.
  • If the cells' activity decreases, narcolepsy or sudden sleepiness, is the result.
  • narcolepsy is a life-long problem, but it is not progressive.
  • Scientists have already gleaned insight into narcolepsy through studies with dogs.
  • narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes excessive sleepiness and frequent daytime sleep attacks.
  • Gleason advised other physicians that a powerful drug for narcolepsy could be prescribed for depression and pain relief.
  • The church fired a teacher with narcolepsy who was a commissioned minister but taught mostly secular subjects.
  • Orphan sells a drug that treats a complication of narcolepsy.
  • But then of course there's my narcolepsy factor, which sometimes leads to the strangest schedules.
British Dictionary definitions for narcolepsy


(pathol) a rare condition characterized by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep
Derived Forms
narcoleptic, adjective
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 narcolepsy

1880, from French narcolepsie, coined 1880 by French physician Jean-Baptiste-Édouard Gélineau (1859-1928) from comb. form of Greek narke "numbness, stupor" (see narcotic) + lepsis "an attack, seizure," from leps-, future stem of lambanein "take hold of, grasp" (see analemma). Related: Narcoleptic; narcolept.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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narcolepsy in Medicine

narcolepsy nar·co·lep·sy (när'kə-lěp'sē)
A disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable, though often brief, attacks of deep sleep, sometimes accompanied by paralysis and hallucinations. Also called hypnolepsy.

nar'co·lep'tic (-lěp'tĭk) 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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