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From echo +‎ -lalia; Latin ēchō from Ancient Greek ἠχώ (ēkhṓ, reflected sound, echo), and -lalia from Ancient Greek λαλιά (laliá, talk, chat).



echolalia (countable and uncountable, plural echolalias)

  1. (clinical psychology) The immediate, involuntary, and repetitive echoing of words or phrases spoken by another.
    • 1984, Jon Eisenson, Aphasia and related disorders in children, page 30:
      Their echolalic responses may be much more extensive than the single words or short phrases that are characteristic of normal echolalia. Thus, a pseudoverbal autistic child may respond to "Do you want a cookie, Jimmy?" with a replication of the very same words.
  2. An infant's repetitive imitation of vocal sounds spoken by another person, occurring naturally during childhood development.
  3. Any apparently meaningless, repetitious noises, especially voices.
    • 1926, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Penguin 2000, p. 50:
      There was the boom of a bass drum, and the voice of the orchestra leader rang out suddenly above the echolalia of the garden.