cabin fever

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In the current sense coined or popularized in a 1918 novel of the same name.[1]


cabin fever (uncountable)

  1. (psychology) A condition of restlessness and irritability caused by being in a confined space.
    Some residents of Alaska suffer from cabin fever when they remain indoors throughout the long, snowy winters.
    • 2004, Lois Olson, Meeting Him in the Wilderness: A True Story of Adventure and Faith, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 102:
      The novelty of a wilderness winter wore off. I began to suffer from cabin fever. I was so anxious to see someone that whenever I heard a car or truck motor, I jumped up on a chair to look out.
  2. (obsolete) Typhus.
    • 1820, The Gentleman's Magazine, volume 128, page 139:
      The certain consequence is the low typhus or cabin fever, which at all times, and at this present moment, exists in Ireland to a degree, that in any other country would create a serious alarm.

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  1. ^ B. M. Bower (1918) chapter 1, in Cabin Fever[1]:There is a certain malady of the mind induced by too much of one thing. Just as the body fed too long upon meat becomes a prey to that horrid disease called scurvy, so the mind fed too long upon monotony succumbs to the insidious mental ailment which the West calls “cabin fever.”

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