Definition of bulimia in English:


(also bulimia nervosa)


  • [mass noun] An emotional disorder characterized by a distorted body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by fasting or self-induced vomiting or purging.

    • ‘These disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.’
    • ‘Together, these forces can lead to self-sustaining eating disorders, primarily anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.’
    • ‘An illness that resembles bulimia nervosa is binge eating disorder.’
    • ‘Eating disorders, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa, are characterised by morbid preoccupation with weight and shape and manifest through distorted or chaotic eating behaviour.’
    • ‘Feel disgusted, depressed, or guilty after overeating binge-eating also takes place in another eating disorder called bulimia nervosa.’
    • ‘Currently, 30 percent of Americans are obese, compared with the 4 percent who meet criteria for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge-eating disorder.’
    • ‘The key feature of the major eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia nervosa, is a phobic fear of fatness that leads to self-induced starvation or bingeing and purging.’
    • ‘The American Psychiatric Association characterizes anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa as biopsychosocial disorders that result in distortions in self-image and self-perception.’
    • ‘Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two common eating disorders, and affect women in particular.’
    • ‘The other main eating disorder is bulimia nervosa, which is characterised by cycles of bingeing and purging (ridding the body of the excess food usually by vomiting or laxatives).’
    • ‘The eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, have received increased scientific and public interest during the past decade.’
    • ‘The group developed questions addressing the main features of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa using focus groups of patients with eating disorders and specialists in eating disorders.’
    • ‘It's important to distinguish binge eating disorder from other eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.’
    • ‘The principal eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and nonspecified eating disorder.’
    • ‘I think if you looked for people with eating disorders with a bulimic component, either bulimic anorexics or bulimia nervosa, then you're looking at a higher rate, something nearer to 50%.’
    • ‘Young women from the developed world who restrict their dietary intake are at highest risk of developing bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders.’
    • ‘Childhood obesity is rising (affecting 15% of children at the last estimate in September) but so is the prevalence of the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia nervosa.’
    • ‘This text examines how clinicians in the psychiatry field treat anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorders.’
    • ‘The guidance on eating disorders advocates a holistic approach in caring for people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and less common eating disorders such as binge eating.’
    • ‘Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are illnesses associated with maladaptive eating regulation responses and are most commonly seen in women.’


Late Middle English (as bolisme, later bulimy): modern Latin, or from medieval Latin bolismos, from Greek boulimia ravenous hunger, from bous ox + limos hunger.