Definition of schizophrenia in US English:



  • 1A long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

    • ‘Self reported use of cannabis in early adulthood was associated with an increased risk of developing schizophrenia.’
    • ‘Let's turn to childhood onset schizophrenia.’
    • ‘Patients and families sometimes become worried about the antipsychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia.’
    • ‘Chronic schizophrenia has an extremely high rate of relapse when medications are withdrawn.’
    • ‘Some of these studies have now shown that children who develop schizophrenia are developmentally different.’
    • ‘Is it possible to diagnose schizophrenia in a person with substance abuse problems?’
    • ‘Shortly after he finished his first album, he was diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia.’
    • ‘The appellant suffers from paranoid schizophrenia which is a mental illness within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983.’
    • ‘She claimed he prescribed a second drug, Risperidone, which is used to treat schizophrenia.’
    • ‘The drug is only approved in the US for the treatment of patients with refractory schizophrenia.’
    • ‘The children of schizophrenic women may have more to worry about than developing schizophrenia.’
    • ‘People with this disorder are in touch with reality unless they develop schizophrenia.’
    • ‘In summary, we described the recent detection of a dynamic wave of gray matter loss in early-onset schizophrenia.’
    • ‘Diagnosed as suffering severe schizophrenia, with hallucinations, he had been jailed after stabbing several people in the street.’
    • ‘In vulnerable individuals, cannabis precipitates schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders and worsens their course.’
    • ‘The imbalance of dopamine, a chemical in the brain, causes schizophrenia.’
    • ‘The age at first diagnosis was defined as the date at which schizophrenia was diagnosed.’
    • ‘Simple smell tests could help doctors identify people at risk of developing schizophrenia, a study suggests.’
    • ‘A child whose parent has schizophrenia has about a 10 percent chance.’
    • ‘All participants had refractory schizophrenia and had been hospitalized for 30 days to 364 days in the previous year.’
    insanity, insaneness, dementia, mental illness, derangement, dementedness, instability, unsoundness of mind, lunacy, distraction, depression, mania, hysteria, frenzy, psychosis, psychopathy, hydrophobia
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (in general use) a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements.
      ‘Gibraltar's schizophrenia continues to be fed by colonial pride’
      • ‘Now that growth is faltering, the inconsistencies of our political schizophrenia are emerging.’
      • ‘Abrupt changes in mood, the destruction of comfort, and schizophrenia are all elements at work here.’


Early 20th century: modern Latin, from Greek skhizein ‘to split’ + phrēn ‘mind’.