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[dih-men-shuh, -shee-uh] /dɪˈmɛn ʃə, -ʃi ə/
noun, Psychiatry.
severe impairment or loss of intellectual capacity and personality integration, due to the loss of or damage to neurons in the brain.
Origin of dementia
1800-10; < Latin dēmentia madness, equivalent to dēment- out of one's mind (see dement) + -ia noun suffix
Related forms
demential, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dementia
  • You draw parallels between your own struggle to reconstruct your memories and your mother's decline into dementia.
  • As we age, parts of the brain tend to shrink—even in the absence of neurocognitive diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer's.
  • The medical experts said age-related dementia, most notably Alzheimer's disease, is the price we're paying for staying healthy.
  • That's important, since dementia and other problems associated with aging can increase feelings of paranoia.
  • Her husband had Lewy body dementia, a progressive brain disease, she said.
  • He diagnosed her with frontotemporal dementia.
  • Men and women who are middle-aged--or older, especially--are quick to diagnose themselves with inevitable dementia.
  • At the start of the study, none of the participants showed signs of dementia.
  • Mitochondrial breakdown has been associated with many age-related diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and dementia.
  • Chemical and nutritional imbalances can often mimic dementia.
British Dictionary definitions for dementia


/dɪˈmɛnʃə; -ʃɪə/
a state of serious emotional and mental deterioration, of organic or functional origin
Word Origin
C19: from Latin: madness; see dement
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 dementia

1806, from Latin dementia "madness, distraction, folly," noun of state from dementem, from dementer (see dement). It existed earlier in an anglicized form, demency (1520s), from French démence. Dementia praecox is a Modern Latin form recorded from 1899 in English, 1891 in German, from French démence précoce (1857). See precocious.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dementia in Medicine

dementia de·men·tia (dĭ-měn'shə)
Deterioration of intellectual faculties, such as memory, concentration, and judgment, resulting from an organic disease or a disorder of the brain, and often accompanied by emotional disturbance and personality changes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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dementia in Science
Deterioration of intellectual faculties, such as memory, concentration, and judgment, sometimes accompanied by emotional disturbance and personality changes. Dementia is caused by organic damage to the brain (as in Alzheimer's disease), head trauma, metabolic disorders, or the presence of a tumor.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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