Definition of epilepsy in English:



mass noun
  • A neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

    • ‘Narcolepsy has been mistaken for epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, and schizophrenia.’
    • ‘Having a learning disability does not cause epilepsy and nor does epilepsy cause a learning disability.’
    • ‘Pregnancy in women with epilepsy is associated with an increased risk of fetal malformation.’
    • ‘In some illnesses, for example migraine or epilepsy, the diagnosis may be evident from the history alone.’
    • ‘No deaths were attributed directly to seizures, and sudden unexplained death in epilepsy did not occur.’
    • ‘These scans look at the way the brain works and can help to pinpoint the part of the brain that is causing epilepsy.’
    • ‘Patients with epilepsy may have prodromal symptoms of tension, anxiety, and depression.’
    • ‘These cases illustrate the scope for mistaking narcolepsy for epilepsy.’
    • ‘Pregnant women with epilepsy were recruited to the study, predominantly by community midwives.’
    • ‘The association between epilepsy and psychosis has been researched since the nineteenth century.’
    • ‘I have suffered with epilepsy all my life, and also in later life diabetes.’
    • ‘Children with epilepsy do not require much change in their activities.’
    • ‘Priests believed that an illness such as epilepsy was caused by the gods.’
    • ‘He started doing charity swims for the multiple sclerosis and epilepsy societies.’
    • ‘A post-mortem gave the cause of death as sudden death caused by epilepsy.’
    • ‘We report on 15 patients in whom benign sleep myoclonus was initially mistaken for epilepsy.’
    • ‘Thus swimming should not be discouraged in people with epilepsy or any other physical disability.’
    • ‘He had been left with a severe form of cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and cortical blindness.’
    • ‘If someone has repeated seizures, they may be diagnosed with epilepsy.’
    • ‘Doctors may have a lower risk of making, and patients may have lower risk of receiving, a misdiagnosis of epilepsy.’


Mid 16th century from French épilepsie, or via late Latin from Greek epilēpsia, from epilambanein ‘seize, attack’, from epi ‘upon’ + lambanein ‘take hold of’.