Definition of catalepsy in English:



  • A medical condition characterized by a trance or seizure with a loss of sensation and consciousness accompanied by rigidity of the body.

    • ‘It causes out-of-body experiences or catalepsy, when people are unable to move, sometimes for up to 12 hours.’
    • ‘The mere prospect of having to recount a personal anecdote plunges me into boredom verging on catalepsy.’
    • ‘The term ‘atypical’ was originally used to describe drugs that in animal models predict antipsychotic effects but do not produce catalepsy, most notably clozapine.’
    • ‘The hysterics' observable disorders, such as catalepsy, as well as their visual experiences, including hallucination and delirium, were deemed manifest content and, as such, not to be taken at face value.’
    • ‘Admittedly, he suffers from a strange illness which doctors merely call catalepsy, when the muscles become stiff and rigid.’
    • ‘A spokesperson for the cemetery told the newspaper: ‘We want to be pioneers and avoid catalepsy cases, in which a person gets completely paralysed for a few hours and ends up buried as if they were dead.’’
    • ‘Stupor or catalepsy, mutism, posturing/grimacing/stereotypy, echolalia or echopraxia and excessive motor activity were the main catatonic features.’
    • ‘‘Atypicality’ was initially defined as the inability to induce catalepsy in laboratory animals (as the old, ‘typical’, conventional agents can do).’
    • ‘Furthermore, high dose morphine is well reported as a cause of rigidity, catalepsy, akathisia, and myoclonus, which must add to the difficulty of interpreting pain on the basis of observation alone.’
    • ‘Indications that patients were in hypnosis included observation of eyelid fluttering, catalepsy, and slowed respiration.’


Late Middle English: from French catalepsie or late Latin catalepsia, from Greek katalēpsis, from katalambanein seize upon.