Definition of catatonia in English:


Syllabification: cat·a·to·ni·a
Pronunciation: /ˌkatəˈtōnēə


1Abnormality of movement and behavior arising from a disturbed mental state (typically schizophrenia). It may involve repetitive or purposeless overactivity, or catalepsy, resistance to passive movement, and negativism.
More example sentences
  • Criteria for the diagnosis of catatonia independent of schizophrenia have been proposed for future classification systems.
  • We are dealing with life-shattering illnesses, such as melancholic depression, mania and catatonia.
  • The discussion turned to the incidence of catatonia among patients admitted to academic psychiatric units previously reported in the literature.
1.1 informal A state of immobility and stupor.
More example sentences
  • Europe is grinding to a halt and fears are mounting that Germany, the third largest economy in the world, accounting for 30% of total European output, is shaping up to be the next victim of economic catatonia.
  • Finally, a nice young lady behind the counter is touched by the divine hand of healing and overcomes her catatonia long enough to notice that she ought to be running her register, and waves me over.
  • A sense of catatonia permeates the building as we pass through day rooms full of disturbed looking people suspicious of our presence, who occasionally engage us in bizarre conversation.


late 19th century: from cata- 'badly' + Greek tonos 'tone or tension'.

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