catatonic (comparative more catatonic, superlative most catatonic)

  1. (medicine) Of, relating to, or suffering from catatonia.
    • 1967, unnamed doctor in 1967, Frederick Wiseman (director), Titicut Follies (documentary film), quoted in 2004, Jerrold R. Brandell (editor), Celluloid Couches, Cinematic Clients, page 118:
      However, he was looking a lot more catatonic and depressed before and sometimes we find that on the anti-depressants you remove the depression and uncover the paranoid stuff and we may have to give him larger quantities of tranquilizers just to tone this down.
    • 2006, David H. Brendel, Healing Psychiatry[1], page 119:
      It was plausible that Cara became more catatonic in order to avoid a painful and overwhelming confrontation with terrifying but repressed memories of child abuse.
  2. (informal) Motionless and unresponsive, as from shock; withdrawn.
    • 2004, William Meninger, 1012 Monastery Road: A Spiritual Journey[2], page 19:
      Further and further he would withdraw from the world, becoming more and more catatonic — withdrawing completely from his hateful world to the only real and secure comfort he had ever known, the womb.
    • 2009, Nicole Chénier-Cullen, I Found My Thrill on Parliament Hill[3], page 37:
      The fact that he was not twirling his kiss curl underscored his catatonic state of mind. I didn't know who was more catatonic—Brentwood, the minister, or myself.
    • 2011, T. F. Bohn, Dirty Jerry: Faith In the Real World[4], page 64:
      A very young Ensign, in his first real contact with combat conditions, was in charge but was almost of no use as he began to hyper-ventilate and became more and more catatonic the closer they got to shore.



catatonic (plural catatonics)

  1. (medicine) A patient in a state of catatonia.
    • 1953, Canadian Journal of Psychology: Revue Canadienne de Psychologie, Volume 7, page 120,
      An inspection of Table IV shows that the catatonics have the lowest mean reversal score of all the groups.
    • 1973, Oliver Sacks, Awakenings, unnumbered page,
      I thought of children released from school; I thought of spring-awakenings after winter-sleeps; I thought of the Sleeping Beauty; and I also thought, with some foreboding, of catatonics, suddenly frenzied.
    • 1991, Dean Turner, Escape from God: The Use of Religion and Philosophy to Evade Responsibility[5], page 92:
      All outward signs suggest that catatonics have ceased being subjects by virtue of having transformed themselves into veritable objects.