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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Aphasia \A*pha"si*a\, Aphasy \Aph"a*sy\, n. [NL. aphasia, Gr. ?, fr. ? not spoken; 'a priv. + ? to speak: cf. F. aphasie.] (Med.) Loss of the power of speech, or of the appropriate use of words, the vocal organs remaining intact, and the intelligence being preserved. It is dependent on injury or disease of the brain.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"loss of ability to speak," especially as result of brain injury or disorder, 1867, from Modern Latin aphasia, from Greek aphasia "speechlessness," from a- "without" (see a- (3)) + phasis "utterance," from phanai "to speak," related to pheme "voice, report, rumor" (see fame (n.)).\n\nAPHASIA is the term which has recently been given to the loss of the faculty of articulate language, the organs of phonation and of articulation, as well as the intelligence, being unimpaired. The pathology of this affection is at the present time the subject of much discussion in the scientific world; the French Academy devoted several of their séances during the year 1865 to its special elucidation, and the Medical Journals of France and of our own country have lately contained a good deal of original matter bearing upon this obscure feature in cerebral pathology.

[Frederic Bateman, M.D., "Aphasia," London, 1868]


n. (context pathology English) A partial or total loss of language skills due to brain damage. Usually, damage to the left perisylvian region, including Broca's area and Wernicke's area, causes aphasia.


n. inability to use or understand language (spoken or written) because of a brain lesion


Aphasia is an inability to comprehend and formulate language because of dysfunction in specific brain regions. Most often caused by a cerebral vascular accident (CVA), which is also known as a stroke, aphasia can cause impairments in speech and language modalities. To be diagnosed with aphasia, a person's speech or language must be significantly impaired in one (or several) of the four communication modalities following acquired brain injury or have significant decline over a short time period (progressive aphasia). The four communication modalities are auditory comprehension, verbal expression, reading and writing, and functional communication.

The difficulties of people with aphasia can range from occasional trouble finding words to losing the ability to speak, read, or write; intelligence, however, is unaffected. Aphasia also affects visual language such as sign language. In contrast, the use of formulaic expressions in everyday communication is often preserved. One prevalent deficit in the aphasias is anomia, which is a deficit in word finding ability.

The term "aphasia" implies that one or more communication modalities have been damaged and are therefore functioning incorrectly. Aphasia does not refer to damage to the brain that results in motor or sensory deficits, as it is not related to speech (which is the verbal aspect of communicating) but rather the individual's language. An individual's "language" is the socially shared set of rules as well as the thought processes that go behind verbalized speech. It is not a result of a more peripheral motor or sensory difficulty, such as paralysis affecting the speech muscles or a general hearing impairment.

Aphasia is from Greek a- ("without") + phásis (φάσις, "speech"). The word aphasia comes from the word ἀφασία aphasia, in Ancient Greek, which means "speechlessness", derived from ἄφατος aphatos, "speechless" from ἀ- a-, "not, un" and φημί phemi, "I speak".

Aphasia (American band)

Aphasia is a California based alternative rock band.

Aphasia (Japanese band)

Aphasia is a female heavy metal/ hard rock band from Japan still active today. Their latest release is Sweet Illusion.

Aphasia (disambiguation)

Aphasia is a loss of the ability to produce and/or comprehend language. The term may also refer to:

  • Aphasia (American band), a California-based alternative rock band
  • Aphasia (Japanese band), a female heavy metal/hard rock band from Japan
  • Jargon aphasia, a type of aphasia involving noun selection difficulty
  • Aphasia (instrumental), a track on the album Wings of Tomorrow by the Swedish rock band Europe
  • On Aphasia, a 1891 book by Sigmund Freud
Aphasia (instrumental)

"Aphasia" is an instrumental by the Swedish heavy metal band Europe. It is the fifth track on the band's second studio album, Wings of Tomorrow, and is the shortest track on the album, with a playing length of approximately 2 minutes and 32 seconds.

It is currently the only Europe song to be solely written by guitarist John Norum to appear on a Europe studio album ("Boyazont" from the 1983 self-titled debut album was co-written by Eddie Meduza). It is the second and currently final instrumental to appear on a Europe studio album.

The song is featured on the compilation album Rock the Night: The Very Best of Europe. The song was covered by the Swedish power metal band HammerFall

Category:Europe (band) songs Category:Instrumentals Category:Heavy metal songs Category:1984 songs

Usage examples of "aphasia".

All adequate understanding of aphasia or agnosia would, he believed, require a new, more sophisticated science.

There was aphasia, loss of speech, alexia, loss of reading, agraphia, loss of writing, and agnosia, loss of recognition.

Aphasia, amnesia, aphonia--and often anosmia and apnoea--are symptoms of hysteria.

What matters is that you understand that Aphasia Wye is coming with you.

She had no more love for Aphasia Wye than did Terek Molt, but she found him useful in carrying out assignments that others would either refuse or mishandle.

What if he had lost his memory and was stumbling around Pittsburgh this morning blinded with aphasia and loss of identity?

Lesions in the temporal lobe can result in a form of aphasia, the inability to recognize spoken words.

The first such patient was unable to speak for a month after the operation, but his aphasia later disappeared.

Simultaneously with these volumes of Frazer, however, there was appearing in Paris a no less important series of publications by the distinguished neurologist Jean Martin Charcot, treating of hysteria, aphasia, hypnotic states, and the like.

Frazer, however, there was appearing in Paris a no less important series of publications by the distinguished neurologist Jean Martin Charcot, treating of hysteria, aphasia, hypnotic states, and the like.

Although he was somewhat emaciated, medical examination revealed no organic abnormality, nor was there evidence of formal thought disorder, aphasia, or auditory hallucination, and he presented a near-normal affect.

Perhaps she was afflicted with only expressive aphasia, but she must be confused to some degree.

He has pronounced guilt feelings and exhibits selective aphasia on the conscious level about several episodes that recur as dream symbols.

I might yield to the seductions of void, taking a generation with me into blank climates, far beyond any place we'd been before, chancing endless pain to our children, misbirth and aphasia, all asleep in drool.

Finally, in semantic aphasia, the full significance of words and phrases is lost.