Definition of narcolepsy in English:



mass nounMedicine
  • A condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings.

    • ‘The drug is used for narcolepsy, a condition in which people fall asleep unexpectedly during the day.’
    • ‘Sleepiness and cataplexy are the symptoms of narcolepsy that most often merit treatment with drugs.’
    • ‘The drug was first approved in 1998 to treat narcolepsy, an uncommon condition in which sufferers fall asleep uncontrollably during the day.’
    • ‘While insomnia comes in many forms, there are people with narcolepsy who fall asleep while at work, talking or driving.’
    • ‘It was developed to treat narcolepsy, a rare condition that makes people fall asleep unexpectedly and uncontrollably.’


Late 19th century: from Greek narkē ‘numbness’, on the pattern of epilepsy.