Definition of synaesthesia in English:


(US synesthesia)


Physiology Psychology
  • [mass noun] The production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body.

    • ‘We remain, however, far from an understanding of the physiological basis of synaesthesia.’
    • ‘However, new research from Yale on synesthesia is now revealing that there is a complex interaction between the senses in the brain - an interaction that enables us to understand the world in a unified way.’
    • ‘Our experiences vary in intensity, we have a perception of time passing so we have sequential experiences, we experience some synesthesia between senses, etc etc.’
    • ‘Scientists are coming to the realisation that we may all have the capacity for vestigial synaesthesia, even if our sensory pathways have been separated out as normal.’
    • ‘An intense curiosity about what goes wrong with the wiring to produce sensory anomalies, such as synaesthesia, drives him on to know more and more and to inspire others to know more and more.’


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from syn- ‘with’, on the pattern of anaesthesia.