Definition of echolalia in English:



mass noun
  • 1Psychiatry
    Meaningless repetition of another person's spoken words as a symptom of psychiatric disorder.

    • ‘Complex tics might include jumping, smelling objects, touching the nose, touching other people, coprolalia, echolalia, or self-harming behaviors.’
    • ‘Stupor or catalepsy, mutism, posturing/grimacing/stereotypy, echolalia or echopraxia and excessive motor activity were the main catatonic features.’
    • ‘Three patients were found to respond to the fenfluramine therapy with reduction in echolalia, perseveration and motor disturbances and an increase in attention and social awareness.’
    • ‘Many children with autism do not develop speech and other children with the disorder often exhibit unusual speech patterns such as echolalia or the repetition of what has been heard.’
    • ‘He said he had echolalia, which, the narrator explains, is a mental disease where the patient repeats what they hear.’
  • 2Repetition of speech by a child learning to talk.

    repeating, echoing, parroting, quoting, copying


Late 19th century modern Latin, from Greek ēkhō ‘echo’ + lalia ‘speech’.