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Definition of "catalepsy" []

  • A condition characterized by lack of response to external stimuli and by muscular rigidity, so that the limbs remain in whatever position they are placed. It is known to occur in a variety of physical and psychological disorders, such as epilepsy and schizophrenia, and can be induced by hypnosis. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "catalepsy" in a sentence
  • "For several years I had been subject to attacks of the singular disorder which physicians have agreed to term catalepsy, in default of a more definitive title."
  • "He noted that during one phase of hypnotism, known as catalepsy, the arms, limbs, etc., might be placed in any position and would remain there; he also noted that a puff of breath would usually awaken a subject, and that by talking to a subject and telling him to do this or do that, even after he awakes from the sleep, he can be made to do those things."
  • "If a solar spectrum is suddenly brought into a dark room it may produce catalepsy, which is also produced by looking at the sun, or a lime light, or an electric light."