Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 544-545


  • Denise E. MaricleAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology and Philosophy, Texas Woman’s University


Anomia; Word finding; Word retrieval


Dysnomia is a difficulty with, or inability to, retrieve the correct word from memory when need.


Dysnomia impairs an individual’s ability to recall words, names or objects. Normal individuals often have some difficulty recalling words, which is often referred to as the “tip of the tongue phenomenon”, but dysnomia is more severe and interferes with daily life. A person with dysnomia exhibits normal speech but has severe difficulty in recalling words, names, or objects needed for oral or written communication [9]. Individuals with dysnomia exhibit word finding difficulties characterized by word finding pauses, circumlocution, faulty word selection or the replacement of the word with a synonym in an attempt to express their thoughts without using the word they are having difficulty retrieving, as well as difficulty naming objects and recognizing objects by name [6]. The terms anomia and dysnomia a ...

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