noun[mass noun] informal or archaic
Mental deterioration, especially senile dementia, supposedly resulting from degeneration of the brain tissue.
- Born near Leipzig, Germany, in 1844, the son of a Lutheran pastor, Nietzsche led a peripatetic childhood, owing to his father's death from ‘softening of the brain’ at 36.
- Their father had died of what was called ‘softening of the brain’ when the two children were very small, and although Friedrich was just two years older than Elisabeth, he took on a paternal, not to say patronising role.
- Following a fall, Friedrich's father died of encephalomalacia (softening of the brain) when the boy was just five.
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