latah

latah

[lah-tuh]
noun
a pattern of neurotic behavior, usually induced by a startle, first discovered in Malaya, and characterized by the compulsive imitation of the actions and words of others.
Also, lata.


Origin:
1880–85; < Malay

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World English Dictionary
latah (ˈlɑːtə)
 
n
a psychological condition, observed esp in Malaysian cultures, in which an individual, after experiencing a shock, becomes anxious and suggestible, often imitating the actions of another person
 
[C19: from Malay]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

latah la·tah (lä'tə)
n.
A nervous disorder characterized by an exaggerated physical response to being startled or to unexpected suggestion.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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