mutism

[myoo-tiz-uhm]
noun Psychiatry.
an inability to speak, due to a physical defect, conscious refusal, or psychogenic inhibition.

Origin:
1815–25; < Neo-Latin mūtismus. See mute, -ism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To mutism
Collins
World English Dictionary
mutism (ˈmjuːtɪzəm)
 
n
1.  the state of being mute
2.  psychiatry
 a.  a refusal to speak although the mechanism of speech is not damaged
 b.  the lack of development of speech, due usually to early deafness

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mutism
"state of being mute," 1824, from Fr. mutisme (1741), from L. mutus (see mute).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mutism mut·ism (myōō'tĭz'əm)
n.
Absence of the faculty of speech.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
He was clearly insane-disoriented and delusional, with periods of incomprehensible speech alternating with periods of mutism.
It is something altogether different when the elective mutism of scientists with appropriate expertise hides science in silence.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature