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From logo- (prefix meaning ‘word; speech’) +‎ -rrhea (suffix meaning ‘flowing’), probably modelled after diarrhea. Logo- is derived from Ancient Greek λόγος (lógos, word; speech; utterance) (from λέγω (légō, to say, speak; to arrange; to gather), from Proto-Indo-European *leǵ- (to collect, gather)), while -rrhea is from ῥοία (rhoía, a flow, flux) (from ῥέω (rhéō, to flow), from Proto-Indo-European *srew- (to flow)).[1]



logorrhea (countable and uncountable, plural logorrheas) (American spelling)

  1. (often humorous) Excessive talkativeness.
    Synonyms: garrulousness, loquaciousness; see also Thesaurus:talkativeness
    Antonyms: reticence, taciturnity
    • 1894 October 12, “Literary Degeneration”, in Public Opinion [], volume LXVI, number 1,725, London: [] Spottiswoode & Co., [], OCLC 221064716, page 460, column 1:
      These "Symbolists" are characterised by unbounded vanity and self-sufficiency; they are highly emotional; their thinking is hazy and disconnected. They suffer from "Logorrhea" or "sickly talkativeness," and are unable to perform any work which requires concentration and persistency.
    • 1976, James Monaco, “Rivette: The Process of Narrative”, in The New Wave: Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer, Rivette, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, footnote, page 312:
      [Jacques] Rivette, bluntly, suffers from a good case of logorrhea. Even if he had none of these rationales, he would still make long films. In interviews he speaks in endless, ebullient sentences that surround their subjects like spider's webs and sometimes suffocate them.
    • 1984, István Anhalt, Alternative Voices: Essays on Contemporary Vocal and Choral Composition, Toronto, Ont.; Buffalo, N.Y.: University of Toronto Press, →ISBN, page 85:
      The baritone is angry, but still controlled: he does not indulge in compulsive over-rapid spurts of logorrhoeas but keeps to a 'chopped, short, hard, very pointed' staccato-like delivery, excited, but well articulated through interruptions of differing lengths.
    • 2013, David Caute, “Preface”, in Isaac & Isaiah: The Covert Punishment of a Cold War Heretic, New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, →ISBN, page xiii:
      His purchase of a Dictaphone no doubt encouraged his natural loquacity, his ingrained prolixity (which he himself logorrhoea).
  2. (often humorous) Excessive use of words in writing; prolixity.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:verbosity
    Antonyms: see Thesaurus:succinctness
    • 1878 April, “Editorial. Local Medical Societies.”, in W. C. Chapman and Thomas Waddel, editors, The Toledo Medical and Surgical Journal, volume II, number 4, Toledo, Oh.: Medical Press Association, OCLC 7991366, page 134:
      The writer should endeavor to have his observations first of all, exact, then apposite, and finally as brief as the nature of the case will admit. [...] Logorrhea and irrelevancy are the bane of a society.
    • 1919, Arthur Stringer, “The Nile-green Roadster”, in The Man Who Couldn’t Sleep, New York, N.Y.: A[lbert] L[evi] Burt Company, OCLC 2141526, page 317:
      So when I settled down that day I wrote feverishly and I wrote joyously. I wrote until my fingers were cramped and my head was empty. I surrendered to a blithe logorrhea that left me contentedly limp and lax and in need of an hour or two of open air.
    • 1994, Svetlana Boym, “Glasnost’, Graphomania, and Popular Culture”, in Common Places: Mythologies of Everyday Life in Russia, Cambridge, Mass.; London: Harvard University Press, published 1995, →ISBN, part 3 (Writing Common Places), page 205:
      The early period of glasnost' encouraged a variety of graphomania and logorrhea—from numerous letters to the newspapers to memoirs, "true stories," opinions, and revelations of wide political range.
    • 2005, Fred [R.] Ankersmit, “From Language to Experience”, in Sublime Historical Experience (Cultural Memory in the Present), Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, →ISBN, page 83:
      What must be said may sometimes be difficult to say and may require lots and lots of language—hence [Jacques] Derrida's endless logorrheas—but Derrida never raises his hands to Heaven in despair because his reading experience would exceed what he wishes to say.
    • 2014, Geoffrey Parker, “Preface”, in Imprudent King: A New Life of Philip II, New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, →ISBN, page xiv:
      In many cases Philip [II of Spain] lapsed into a logorrhoea that not only revealed the thought processes that underlay his decisions but also shared details on his personal life – when and where he ate and slept; what he had just read; which trees and flowers he wanted to plant in his gardens (and where); how problems with his eyes, his legs or his wrist, or a cold or a headache, had made him fall behind with his paperwork.
    • 2016, Darko Suvin, “In Production: Rise and Fall of Self-management”, in Splendour, Misery, and Possibilities: An X-ray of Socialist Yugoslavia (Historical Materialism), Leiden; Boston, Mass.: Brill, →ISBN, ISSN 1570-1522, part 3 (Self-government vs. Alienation: []), page 260:
      Thus, from the 70s on, all the wondrous legal forms of 'self-management negotiations' (dogovaranja) proved inefficient within toothless 'indicative planning' and a profit-bent capitalist market. It spawned unbelievable logorrheas, for example in the norms occasioned by the 1972–80 laws about the new 'delegate system' of elections [...].
  3. (psychology) Excessive and often uncontrollable speaking due to a mental disorder.
    • 1874 April, Thomas Laycock, “Article I.—On Certain Organic Disorders and Defects of Memory.”, in Edinburgh Medical Journal, [], volume XIX, part II, number X, Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, []; London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., OCLC 1567487, pages 869–870:
      But, then, these persons have not only a copia verborum as to knowledge, but a volubility sometimes amounting to a logorrhœa in expressing what they know—although that may not be much.
    • 1906 April, Clarence B[ynold] Farrar, “Clinical Demonstrations”, in Henry M. Hurd [et al.], editors, The American Journal of Insanity, volume LXII, number 4, Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins Press, ISSN 1044-4815, OCLC 1148843330, page 631:
      When the patient was admitted to this hospital five years ago, the symptoms of excitement in the wide sense, violence, aggressiveness, destructiveness, logorrhœa, were in the foreground as they had been during the previous attacks.
    • 1980, Mahin Hassibi; Harry Breuer, Jr., “Specific Language Dysfunctioning in Children: A Historical Overview”, in Disordered Thinking and Communication in Children, New York, N.Y.: Plenum Press, →ISBN, page 35:
      In agreement with the general consensus of writers on the subject, they affirmed that logorrhea (a loss of control over the flow of speech and subsequent flood of verbiage often seen in adult Wernicke's aphasics) is not characteristic of aphasic children.
    • 2011, Basant K. Puri; Ian H. Treasaden, “Classification, Aetiology, Management and Prognostic Factors”, in Textbook of Psychiatry, 3rd edition, Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier, →ISBN, page 63, column 1:
      The quantity of speech may be increased in mania and anxiety but reduced in dementia, schizophrenia and depression. [...] In logorrhoea, also called volubility, the speech is fluent and rambling, with the use of many words.

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  1. ^ Compare “logorrhœa | logorrhea, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1932; “logorrhea, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

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