Definition of amnesia in English:



  • A partial or total loss of memory.

    • ‘One of the more interesting types of amnesia is what psychiatrists call the fugue state.’
    • ‘In the wishful shelter of ignorance or amnesia, an abiding melancholy tends to creep into the populace.’
    • ‘He slept like a log, his amnesia forgotten, through the morning and the noon.’
    • ‘Another form of potentially blissful ignorance is traumatic amnesia.’
    • ‘One theory is that he has suffered a trauma which has caused amnesia, one of the methods the mind uses to retreat from a shock.’
    • ‘Post-traumatic amnesia is defined as ending when clear and continual memory returns.’
    • ‘You are going to have to consider the difference between amnesia and automatism.’
    • ‘Total amnesia may also result from a medical operation that goes wrong.’
    • ‘He was suffering from total amnesia and dementia praecox and was duly incarcerated in an asylum in Rodez in central France.’
    • ‘Ordinary forgetfulness that emerges after a trauma must not be confused with amnesia for the trauma.’
    • ‘Were they to be subjected to artificial amnesia to make them forget what they saw and did?’
    • ‘It covers a range of clinical presentations from identity disorder to amnesia.’
    • ‘It tells the story of a woman suffering from psychogenic amnesia who wakes up daily with her mind a total blank.’
    • ‘The deputy either has a very short memory or is suffering from political amnesia.’
    • ‘He said in cases of defence of amnesia or automatism, the court had to carefully scrutinise all evidence.’
    • ‘Clearly, if I suffer selective amnesia, forgetting, say, five years of my life, I do not cease to be me.’
    • ‘Mixed with alcohol it can cause severe disorientation, amnesia and loss of consciousness.’
    • ‘This period of childhood amnesia is now generally believed to end at about age three or four.’
    • ‘Reports by patients of memory loss are of the erasing of autobiographical memories or retrograde amnesia.’
    • ‘If encoding is absent, amnesia will follow, as in the case of many of our dreams.’
    forgetfulness, amnesia, poor memory, tendency to forget, lapse of memory
    View synonyms


Late 18th century: from Greek amnēsia forgetfulness.