Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “autism”


noun [U]     /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     /ɔːˈtɪs.tɪk/ US  /ɑː-/ adjective One child in 5,000 is autistic.Mental and psychiatric disorders
(Definition of autism noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on 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:

Definitions of “autism” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


the skill or activity of preparing and cooking food

Word of the Day


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