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[hip-noh-sis] /hɪpˈnoʊ sɪs/
noun, plural hypnoses
[hip-noh-seez] /hɪpˈnoʊ siz/ (Show IPA)
an artificially induced trance state resembling sleep, characterized by heightened susceptibility to suggestion.
Origin of hypnosis
1875-80; hypn(otic) + -osis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hypnosis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Liébeault, the founder of the Nancy school, has the credit of having first made use of hypnosis as a remedial agent.

    The Story of the Mind James Mark Baldwin
  • He was unwilling to believe that he had been in hypnosis at all.

    Psychotherapy Hugo Mnsterberg
  • Won't the effect be similar to hypnosis whereby a man is reduced to a cataleptic state?

    The End of Time Wallace West
  • This is so common that hypnosis has come to be known as a port of last call.

  • After their first experience with hypnosis, most people tend to disbelieve that they have really been in a trance state.

  • You may read a newspaper article warning about the "dangers" of hypnosis.

  • Our first case dealt with hypnosis, our second case removed the intruding idea by a perception in a waking state.

    Psychotherapy Hugo Mnsterberg
  • hypnosis for him would be "dangerous" because he would be afraid to take the chance.

  • If the conditioning process works for these two tests, you have achieved the lethargic state of hypnosis.

British Dictionary definitions for hypnosis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
an artificially induced state of relaxation and concentration in which deeper parts of the mind become more accessible: used clinically to reduce reaction to pain, to encourage free association, etc See also autohypnosis
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 hypnosis

1869, "the coming on of sleep," coined (as an alternative to hypnotism) from Greek hypnos "sleep" (see somnolence) + -osis "condition." Of an artificially induced condition, from 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hypnosis in Medicine

hypnosis hyp·no·sis (hĭp-nō'sĭs)
n. pl. hyp·no·ses (-sēz)

  1. A trancelike state resembling somnambulism, usually induced by another person, in which the subject may experience forgotten or suppressed memories, hallucinations, and heightened suggestibility.

  2. A sleeplike state or condition.

  3. Hypnotism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hypnosis in Science
A trancelike state resembling sleep, usually induced by a therapist by focusing a subject's attention, that heightens the subject's receptivity to suggestion. The uses of hypnosis in medicine and psychology include recovering repressed memories, modifying or eliminating undesirable behavior (such as smoking), and treating certain chronic disorders, such as anxiety.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hypnosis in Culture

hypnosis definition

Placing persons in a drowsy, sleeplike state in which they allegedly become vulnerable to the suggestions made by the hypnotist. Hypnosis may also be used to tap into the unconscious and is often characterized by vivid recall of memories and fantasies. These properties make hypnosis a useful tool in psychotherapy. Hypnosis also has sinister implications, for subjects may be manipulated to perform embarrassing actions or be susceptible to carrying out the hypnotist's commands after the hypnosis session (posthypnotic suggestion).

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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