Definition of psychosis in English:



  • A severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

    • ‘The authors emphasize that acute transient psychosis occurs far more frequently in developing countries and that these do not fit into the traditional subdivision of psychoses into schizophrenia and manic-depressive illness.’
    • ‘Identification of these processes may also uncover mechanisms of cognitive impairment, with implications not only for AD but also for idiopathic psychoses.’
    • ‘Only serious psychoses that required psychiatric consultation and/or treatment were considered as mental disturbances.’
    • ‘Fluphenazine is a member of the phenothiazine drug family and is often used in the treatment of various psychoses, mainly schizophrenia and paranoid syndromes.’
    • ‘Depending on which symptoms are apparent, delirium may be mistaken for a variety of disorders including dementia, mood disorders, and functional psychoses.’
    • ‘Investigators in Europe and North America suggested that children whose parents did not visit them suffered acute emotional trauma, which often caused neuroses and psychoses in youth and adulthood.’
    • ‘Head injury, even when associated with minimal trauma, can lead to affective psychoses and schizophrenia.’
    • ‘Most paranoid psychoses are chronic rather than episodic, but Schreber had an initial mental illness lasting from October 1884 to June 1885 from which he made a good recovery.’
    • ‘Thus the significant differences between LSD and schizophrenic psychoses appear to be in the affective nature of LSD psychosis and the greater incidence of delusions and auditory hallucinations in schizophrenics.’
    • ‘There is broad consensus that cognitive deficits play a crucial role for both the pathogenesis and prognosis of schizophrenic psychoses.’
    • ‘Functional psychoses include conditions such as schizophrenia, paranoia, psychopathic personality traits and manic depression.’
    • ‘Chronic use of GHB may produce dependence and a withdrawal syndrome that includes anxiety, insomnia, tremor, and in severe cases, treatment-resistant psychoses.’
    • ‘Brief reactive psychoses are of interest because some behaviors, otherwise considered normal in developing countries (such as trance or other dissociative-type disorders), overlap.’
    • ‘While 1% of patients with epilepsy admitted to the state hospital improved, 16.5% of those who developed acute psychoses remitted.’
    • ‘Celebrities, too, are prone to ‘nervous exhaustion’ - doubtless the result of having to work so much harder than the rest of us - rather than drug-induced depressions, panic disorders or psychoses.’
    • ‘Zuclopenthixol is also authorised in humans as Clopixol and is for the management of schizophrenia and allied psychoses.’
    • ‘Anderson et al studied 24 patients with acute psychoses who met RDC criteria for schizophrenia or mania.’
    • ‘When high levels of L-dopa were used to treat Parkinson's Disease type symptoms (immortalised in the film, ‘Awakenings’), the individuals concerned developed acute paranoid psychoses.’
    • ‘And the number hospitalised with alcohol psychoses - delirium, shaking, or memory loss - has risen by more than a third since 1997-98.’
    • ‘How strong is the evidence that cannabis is causally implicated in the precipitation or exacerbation of schizophrenia and other psychoses?’
    insanity, insaneness, dementia, mental illness, derangement, dementedness, instability, unsoundness of mind, lunacy, distraction, depression, mania, hysteria, frenzy, psychopathy, schizophrenia, hydrophobia
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: from Greek psukhōsis ‘animation’, from psukhoō ‘I give life to’, from psukhē ‘soul, mind’.