Share this entry

schizophrenia Line breaks: schizo|phre¦nia
Pronunciation: /ˌskɪtsə(ʊ)ˈfriːnɪə/

Definition of schizophrenia in English:


[mass noun]
1A long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behaviour, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.
Example sentences
  • The appellant suffers from paranoid schizophrenia which is a mental illness within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983.
  • Shortly after he finished his first album, he was diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia.
  • Some of these studies have now shown that children who develop schizophrenia are developmentally different.
1.1(In general use) a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements: Gibraltar’s schizophrenia continues to be fed by colonial pride
More example sentences
  • Abrupt changes in mood, the destruction of comfort, and schizophrenia are all elements at work here.
  • Now that growth is faltering, the inconsistencies of our political schizophrenia are emerging.


Early 20th century: modern Latin, from Greek skhizein 'to split' + phrēn 'mind'.



Pronunciation: /ˌskɪtsə(ʊ)ˈfrɛnɪk/
adjective& noun
Example sentences
  • She ends up being schizophrenic, disturbed and a profound emotional influence on Jonathan.
  • Not only did his word-association experiments provide hard empirical evidence for the existence and power of unconscious complexes, but his work with schizophrenics carried psychoanalytic concepts into areas beyond Freud's reach.
  • Living with a schizophrenic, psychotic mother must have left an indelible mark on him.

Words that rhyme with schizophrenia

Armenia, bergenia, gardenia, neurasthenia, ostopenia, proscenia, sarcopenia, senior, Slovenia

Definition of schizophrenia in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈduːfʌs
a stupid person