Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Psychiatry The immediate and involuntary repetition of words or phrases just spoken by others, often a symptom of autism or some types of schizophrenia.
  • n. An infant's repetition of the sounds made by others, a normal occurrence in childhood development.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The immediate, involuntary, and repetitive echoing of words or phrases spoken by another.
  • n. An infant's repetitive imitation of vocal sounds spoken by another person, occurring naturally during childhood development.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In pathology, the repetition by the patient in a meaningless way of words and phrases addressed to him. It occurs in certain nervous disorders.
  • n. An agreeable but meaning-loss arrangement of words in poetry.

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

  • n. an infant's repetition of sounds uttered by others
  • n. (psychiatry) mechanical and meaningless repetition of the words of another person (as in schizophrenia)

Etymologies

echo + Greek laliā, talk (from lalos, talkative).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From echo +‎ -lalia. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • They may echo the last few words of someone else's sentence, a condition known as echolalia, or they may not talk at all.

    Using Drugs to Fight Autism

  • She has something called echolalia, and all the research I've done takes it back to autism, as in, if your child has this, they have autism.

    onesevennine Diary Entry

  • And, you know, a lot of people have been concerned about video-based training for kids with autism because of the concern that they will fall into a pattern of -- it ` s called echolalia, and that is the repeating that you ` re talking about.

    CNN Transcript Jul 1, 2008

  • One theory of sleep is that dreams are just a nighttime hallucination that the brain simply strings together into a meaningful narrative, which means that all of the sleep talking Liz is hearing on the video playback is just a series of words, echolalia from the day tossed together with her own mind making connections.

    Intersomnolence

  • His voice is R. Kelly on a hit of helium or Prince stricken with echolalia, the compulsion to repeat words.

    Album review of 'Love King' by The-Dream

  • Critter can learn to hold a pencil, but you don't care if he can talk in something other than echolalia or second-person?

    Autism Thoughts

  • See also breast feeding; diet; food; formula feeding echolalia, 77

    You Raising Your Child

  • All I do is feebly hack away at trying -- emphasis on trying -- to capture some version of "reality" that will speak for itself, including the echolalia of the very media influence that filters it by the act of recording it.

    Boing Boing

  • One of those perplexed silences ensued, of the sort created by someone in a chatty group suddenly lapsing into echolalia or the gabble of a foreign language.

    Beard

  • First, there was echolalia -- she'd repeat and repeat any words you said to her.

    Brain Dead Senate Economasturbation

Comments

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  • Cf. echopraxia.

    June 14, 2011

  • JM is somewhat inchoate in his adoption of echolalia and needs to speak after more people about it.

    March 29, 2011

  • also:

    The immediate and involuntary repetition of words or phrases just spoken by others.

    December 31, 2007