"loss of ability to speak," especially as result of brain injury or disorder, 1867, from Modern Latin aphasia, from Greek aphasia "speechlessness," from a- "without" (see a- (3)) + phasis "utterance," from phanai "to speak," related to pheme "voice, report, rumor" (see fame (n.)).
APHASIA is the term which has recently been given to the loss of the faculty of articulate language, the organs of phonation and of articulation, as well as the intelligence, being unimpaired. The pathology of this affection is at the present time the subject of much discussion in the scientific world; the French Academy devoted several of their séances during the year 1865 to its special elucidation, and the Medical Journals of France and of our own country have lately contained a good deal of original matter bearing upon this obscure feature in cerebral pathology. [Frederic Bateman, M.D., "Aphasia," London, 1868]
aphasia a·pha·sia (ə-fā'zhə)
Partial or total loss of the ability to articulate ideas or comprehend spoken or written language, resulting from brain damage due to injury or disease. Also called logagnosia, logamnesia, logasthenia.