One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Severe congenital mental handicap.
- ‘Moreover the anxiety about gestation increased and she developed amentia at last.’
- ‘There are probably other types of amentia in which a rare recessive gene is the chief determinant.’
- ‘She herself has been suffering from uremia inherited from her mother and is also registered as suffering from ‘slight amentia’ (mental deficiency) in her own disability certificate.’
Late Middle English: from Latin, literally ‘madness’, from amens, ament- ‘mad’, from a- ‘without’ + mens ‘the mind’.
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