insanity

insanity [in san′ə tē]
n.
pl. insanities [L insanitas < insanus]
1. the state of being insane; mental illness or derangement, usually excluding amentia: not a technical term
2. Law any form or degree of mental derangement or unsoundness of mind, permanent or temporary, that makes a person incapable of what is regarded legally as normal, rational conduct or judgment: it usually implies a need for hospitalization
3. great folly; extreme senselessness
SYN.- INSANITY, current in popular and legal language but not used technically in medicine (see definition above), implies mental derangement in one who formerly had mental health; LUNACY specifically suggests periodic spells of insanity, but is now most commonly used in its extended sense of extreme folly; DEMENTIA is the general term for an acquired mental disorder, now generally one of organic origin, as distinguished from amentia (congenital mental deficiency); PSYCHOSIS is the psychiatric term for any of various specialized mental disorders, functional or organic, in which the personality is seriously disorganized
-ANT. SANITY

English World dictionary. . 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Insanity — • The dividing line between sanity and insanity, like the line that distinguishes a man of average height from a tall man, can be described only in terms of a moral estimate Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Insanity     Insanity …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • insanity — in·san·i·ty n 1: unsoundness of mind or lack of the ability to understand that prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or that releases one from criminal or… …   Law dictionary

  • Insanity — In*san i*ty, n. [L. insanitas unsoundness; cf. insania insanity, F. insanite.] 1. The state of being insane; unsoundness or derangement of mind; madness; lunacy. [1913 Webster] All power of fancy over reason is a degree of insanity. Johnson.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • insanity — insanity, lunacy, psychosis, mania, dementia are the leading general terms denoting serious mental disorder. Insanity as a technical term belongs to law rather than to medicine. It is used to cover a wide variety of mental disorders, all of which …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Insanity —    Insanity and Civilization    That insanity is a form of freedom became the basic assumption of Foucault s most widely read work, Madness and Civilization (1961). The dichotomy is significant; in the precapitalist West of the Middle Ages and… …   Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science

  • insanity — 1580s, state of being insane, from L. insanitatem (nom. insanitas) unhealthfulness, noun of quality from insanus (see INSANE (Cf. insane)). Meaning extreme folly is from 1844 …   Etymology dictionary

  • insanity — [n] mental illness; foolishness aberration, absurdity, alienation, craziness, delirium, delusion, dementia, derangement, distraction, dotage, folly, frenzy, hallucination, hysteria, illusion, inanity, irrationality, irresponsibility, lunacy,… …   New thesaurus

  • Insanity — For other uses, see Insanity (disambiguation). Insane redirects here. For other uses, see Insane (disambiguation). Engraving of the eighth p …   Wikipedia

  • insanity — The term is a social and legal term rather than a medical one, and indicates a condition which renders the affected person unfit to enjoy liberty of action because of the unreliability of his behavior with concomitant danger to himself and others …   Black's law dictionary

  • insanity — /in san i tee/, n., pl. insanities. 1. the condition of being insane; a derangement of the mind. 2. Law. such unsoundness of mind as affects legal responsibility or capacity. 3. Psychiatry. (formerly) psychosis. 4. extreme folly; senselessness;… …   Universalium

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