amnesia

Cultural Dictionary
amnesia [(am-nee-zhuh)]

A loss of memory, especially one brought on by some distressing or shocking experience.

Note: A common variant is selective amnesia; the term is applied to public officials who, when questioned about alleged wrongdoing, profess that they cannot remember.
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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