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

  • noun Any of a group of psychiatric disorders associated with dopamine imbalance in the brain and usually characterized by psychotic behavior including delusions, hallucinations, withdrawal from reality, and disorganized patterns of thinking and speech.
  • noun A situation or condition characterized by conflicting qualities, attitudes, or activities.

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

  • noun pathology A psychiatric diagnosis denoting a persistent, often chronic, mental illness variously affecting behavior, thinking, and emotion.
  • noun informal Any condition in which disparate or mutually exclusive activities coexist.

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

  • noun any of several psychotic disorders characterized by distortions of reality and disturbances of thought and language and withdrawal from social contact


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested 1910, from New Latin, from German Schizophrenie, coined by Eugen Bleuler, from Ancient Greek σχίζω (skhizō, "I tear, split, cut") + φρήν (phrēn, "mind, brain, diaphragm").


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  • Thirty years ago, the term schizophrenia was a catchall phrase to diagnose all manner of aberrant behavior.

    Without Pity Ann Rule 2003

  • Thirty years ago, the term schizophrenia was a catchall phrase to diagnose all manner of aberrant behavior.

    Without Pity Ann Rule 2003

  • But back to your conscience; I know that psychiatrists used to use the term schizophrenia to describe a variety of mental conditions that didn't have any other definable title or description, so I wonder if perhaps you have been diagnosed as a sociopath in a similar way because the doctor had a bit of trouble pinpointing what was exactly the problem.

    Comments for Damn Interesting Lyzbeth 2010

  • However, we are using the term schizophrenia colloquially so as to not muddy our political-philosophical analysis with clinical analysis, a topic on which neither authors are literate.

    Anarchist news dot org - Comments 2010

  • Although the meaning of this sentence is obscure, it is evident that in both examples, the term schizophrenia is used to indicate a splitting apart or splitting into two of what should be unitary.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol V No 4 1984

  • Eugene Bleuler accepted much of Kraepelin’s thinking and, in fact, applied the term schizophrenia to the disorder to imply that a schism or splitting of the various psychic functions “was one of the most outstanding characteristics” Arieti, 1974, p. 13 of the disease.

    Clinical Work with Adolescents Judith Marks Mishne 1986

  • Here is the verbatim definition of schizophrenia from the Random House online dictionary - the medical definition: "a severe mental disorder characterized by some, but not necessarily all, of the following features: emotional blunting, intellectual deterioration, social isolation, disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations."

    Conservative: Dems looking 'schizophrenic' on reform 2009

  • But, as I said, that's over-simplifying, but that schizophrenia is on display in The Incredibles, which tries to swing it both ways.

    Up, George Lucas, the spirit of adventure, and the myth of the fallen angel 2009

  • A common sign of a schizophrenia is when the person with the mental illness starts referring to themselves as “we” or starts talking about himself or herself in the third person.

    Think Progress » Army spares single mother from a court-martial, but still demotes her and revokes benefits. 2010

  • Pope pointed out that Shakespeare, Homer and other pre-19th-century writers show numerous characters suffering from other psychiatric disorders: the disjointed thinking that we call schizophrenia, or the persistent sadness that marks depression.

    Science Project 2010


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  • Where've I heard that before?

    September 24, 2008

  • Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I!

    August 14, 2011