Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A psychosexual disorder in which sexual gratification is obtained through practices or fantasies involving a bizarre, deviant, or highly unusual source of sexual arousal such as an animal or an object.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun any sexual deviation, which is considered abnormal in some societies or which may prevent or hinder one's ability to receive reciprocal love

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun abnormal sexual activity

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From para- (“abnormal”) + -philia.

Examples

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  • “In 1996, when she worked as an assistant to a sexologist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, then called the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, she found herself the only woman on a floor of researchers investigating male sexual preferences and what are known as paraphilias — erotic desires that fall far outside the norm.�?

    The New York Times, What Do Women Want?, by Daniel Bergner, January 22, 2009

    January 24, 2009