Definition of encephalitis lethargica in English:

encephalitis lethargica


  • [mass noun] A form of encephalitis caused by a virus and characterized by headache and drowsiness leading to coma.

    Also called sleepy sickness
    • ‘It tracks the research of two medical teams into the cause of encephalitis lethargica, a strange neurological condition causing coma and catatonia, of which there was a pandemic between 1917 and 1928.’
    • ‘As a young man Milne had suffered from encephalitis lethargica.’
    • ‘We all know that memory may be obliterated by an injury to the brain, that a virtuous person may be rendered vicious by encephalitis lethargica, and that a clever child can be turned into an idiot by lack of iodine.’


encephalitis lethargica

/ɛnˌkɛfəˈlʌɪtɪs lɪˈθɑːdʒɪkə//ɛnˌsɛfəˈlʌɪtɪs lɪˈθɑːdʒɪkə/