One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage.Compare with aphonia
- ‘Initially expected to make a satisfactory recovery from the head injury, she subsequently suffered a stroke that left her with aphasia, diminished cognitive abilities, and a seizure disorder.’
- ‘He was able to map language centers in the brain by observing lesions in patients suffering from aphasia.’
- ‘I had not had seizures like this before - not with such severe aphasia, such an inability to ask for help and to help myself.’
- ‘I'm mindful how fortunate I am that I recovered from aphasia, when for many people who have suffered brain damage the condition can be a permanent state of mind.’
- ‘The stroke also caused a severe expressive aphasia, which left her able to say only two words.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek, from aphatos ‘speechless’, from a- ‘not’ + phanai ‘speak’.
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