Definition of alexia in English:



mass nounMedicine
  • Inability to recognize or read written words or letters, typically as a result of brain damage.

    Compare with dyslexia
    • ‘Strokes that cause alexia, the loss or impairment of the ability to read, or aphasia, the loss or impairment of the ability to express or comprehend language by speech or sign, are examples of debilitating impairment.’
    • ‘Patients with surface alexia typically have a lesion in the temporoparietal region of the left hemisphere.’
    • ‘Patient # 23 presented with the acute onset of a right superior quadrantanopsia and alexia without agraphia.’
    • ‘The chapters in this section address one type of peripheral dyslexia (pure alexia) and one type of central dyslexia (deep dyslexia).’
    • ‘For example, we have the case of alexia without agaphia, in other words, a patient who, due to injury or a stroke, is unable to read, yet able to write.’


Late 19th century: from a- ‘without’ + Greek lexis ‘speech’, from legein ‘speak’, which was confused with Latin legere ‘read’.