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From anhedon(ia) +‎ -ic.[1]



anhedonic (comparative more anhedonic, superlative most anhedonic)

  1. (psychiatry, also figurative) Showing anhedonia; having no capacity to feel pleasure.
    • 1944, Abraham Myerson, Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, Chicago, Ill.: American Medical Association, ISSN 0096-6754, OCLC 903383405, page 497, column 1:
      Briefly, the anhedonic syndrome is manifested, first, by the disappearance or impairment of the appetite for food and drink and by failure to experience the corresponding satisfactions. [...] Thirdly, the appetite or desire for rest and the satisfaction of recuperation are also involved in the anhedonic syndrome.
    • 1990, Kevin D. Stark, “Implementation Issues in Treatment”, in Childhood Depression: School-based Intervention (The Guildford School Practitioner Series), New York, N.Y.: Guilford Press, →ISBN, page 104:
      The anhedonic depressed child creates special problems. He or she is bored most of the time, as he or she does not derive normal levels of pleasure from things, and the breadth of pleasurable events is rduced. The anhedonic youngster seems just to go through the motions of treatment.
    • 2009, Mark Fisher, “Reflexive Impotence, Immobilization and Liberal Communism”, in Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, Ropley, Hampshire: O Books, John Hunt Publishing, →ISBN, page 23:
      Students are aware that if they don't attend for weeks on end, and/or they don't produce any work, they will not face meaningful sanction. They typically respond to this freedom not by pursuing projects but by falling into hedonic (or anhedonic) lassitude: the soft narcosis, the comfort food oblivion of Playstation, all-night TV and marijuana.
    • 2015, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Hausfrau: A Novel[1], New York, N.Y.: Random House, →ISBN, page 123:
      Longing, officious, anhedonic, pleading. Anna tried to make a list of every mood she'd ever been in but ran out of words before even half of her feelings were named.

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anhedonic (plural anhedonics)

  1. (psychiatry) A person who has anhedonia.
    • 1995, Adrian Raine; Todd Lencz; Deana S. Benishay, “Schizotypal Personality and Skin Conductance Orienting”, in Adrian Raine, Todd Lencz, and Sarnoff A. Mednick, editors, Schizotypal Personality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, part III (Assessment), page 231:
      [P]hysical anhedonics may not pay attention to tone stimuli (and therefore do not give SC [skin conductance] responses) because such subjects are identified on the basis of lacking pleasure and interest in physical events. As such, nonresponding in physical anhedonics may indicate validity for the way physical anhedonia is measured, but may not reflect a factor of etiologic significance.
    • 1996, David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (Back Bay Books), Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown and Company, →ISBN, page 693:
      The anhedonic can still speak about happiness and meaning et al., but she has become incapable of feeling anything in them, of understanding anything about them, of hoping anything about them, or of believing them to exist as anything more than concepts. Everything has become an outline of the thing. Objects become schemata. The world becomes a map of the world. An anhedonic can navigate, but has no location. I.e. the anhedonic becomes, in the lingo of Boston AA, Unable To Identify.
    • 2014, David Coleman, “1980s–1990s: The Burgeoning Diversity of Depressive Expressionism”, in The Bipolar Express: Manic Depression and the Movies, Lanham, Md.; Plymouth, Devon: Rowman & Littlefield, →ISBN, pages 216–217:
      An anhedonic who impulsively seeks out social contact with others may be actin in response to his mental condition, but he tends to be less beholden to his condition during the process of actual socialization itself. [...] While an anhedonic will typically be shy and less than the center of any gathering, a manic can often be charming, talkative, and charismatic, with the hallmark that the self-aggrandizement is often tinged with delusions and distortions.



  1. ^ Compare “anhedonia, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972.

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