Definition of delirium in US English:

delirium

noun

  • 1An acutely disturbed state of mind that occurs in fever, intoxication, and other disorders and is characterized by restlessness, illusions, and incoherence of thought and speech.

    ‘somewhere a patient shouted in delirium’
    ‘she had fits of delirium’
    • ‘Psychotic symptoms can appear as a part of delirium, dementia or any other organic brain syndrome.’
    • ‘Certain signs and symptoms can help physicians distinguish between delirium and a pre-existing psychiatric disorder.’
    • ‘Cognitive impairment, delirium, and dementia are present in some older adult patients.’
    • ‘The use of antidepressants, antipsychotics, or anticholinesterase inhibitors for insomnia related to delirium or dementia is also unproved.’
    • ‘Unlike dementia, delirium is a severe but temporary state of mental confusion.’
    • ‘Some affected people suffer mental disturbances such as delirium, hallucinations, and even psychotic behaviour.’
    • ‘Schizophrenia is conventionally distinguished from the organic psychoses dementia and delirium by the absence of intellectual compromise.’
    • ‘Neurologic consultation can help establish a differential diagnosis in patients with delirium.’
    derangement, dementia, dementedness, temporary insanity, temporary madness
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    1. 1.1 Wild excitement or ecstasy.
      ‘a chorus of delirium from the terrace’
      • ‘I ended up getting a digital keyboard, which was so amazing to me - excitement to the point of delirium.’
      • ‘There's a floodlit stage and electronic band of ‘gruperos’ in transports of salsa-invoked delirium.’
      • ‘The smell of incense filled the room and transported me, in my delirium, back to my youth as a Miami altar boy.’
      • ‘‘The thrill, the mad delirium of being free is beyond description,’ he writes.’
      • ‘Not only did the win send the home fans into state of rapturous delirium, but the achievement relieved the team's coach, who had looked tense during the final.’
      ecstasy, rapture, transports, wild emotion, passion, wildness, excitement, frenzy, feverishness, fever
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Origin

Mid 16th century: from Latin, from delirare ‘deviate, be deranged’ (literally ‘deviate from the furrow’), from de- ‘away’ + lira ‘ridge between furrows’.

Pronunciation

delirium

/dəˈlirēəm//dəˈlɪriəm/