Definition of autism in English:


Pronunciation /ˈôˌtizəm/ /ˈɔˌtɪzəm/

Translate autism into Spanish


  • A developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior.

    ‘Children with conditions like cerebral palsy, autism and learning difficulties benefit.’
    • ‘They are reported to have discovered a possible link between fatty acid deficiency and childhood autism.’
    • ‘Again, even if such peptides are discovered, their relationship to autism remains entirely speculative.’
    • ‘Public awareness of autism has increased over recent years, yet early recognition of autism remains variable.’
    • ‘It's crucial to have a clear, early diagnosis of autism if sufferers and their families are to be helped.’
    • ‘Long before its formal recognition in 1943, the concept of autism appeared in folklore.’
    • ‘But when he was a toddler, he was diagnosed as having a relatively mild form of autism.’
    • ‘It may also play a role in disorders such as autism, where people have difficulties forming social bonds.’
    • ‘Eight months ago, he joined the growing epidemic of children diagnosed with autism.’


Early 20th century (originally with reference to a condition in which fantasy dominates over reality, regarded as a symptom of schizophrenia and other disorders): from Greek autos ‘self’+ -ism.