Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “autism”

autism

noun [U] uk   /ˈɔː.tɪ.zəm/ us    /ˈɑː.t̬ɪ-/
a failure to develop social abilities, language, and other communication skills to the usual level: Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls.Mental and psychiatric disorders
autistic
adjective uk   /ɔːˈtɪs.tɪk/ us    /ɑː-/
One child in 5,000 is autistic.Mental and psychiatric disorders
(Definition of autism from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of autism?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Mental & psychiatric disorders, but you might be interested in these topics from the Psychology, psychiatry, & psychoanalysis topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “autism” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

innovate

to introduce changes and new ideas

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More