insanity

1. An outmoded term referring to severe mental illness or psychosis. 2. In law, that degree of mental illness which negates the individual's legal responsibility or capacity. [L. in- neg. + sanus, sound]
- criminal i. in forensic psychiatry, a term that describes the degree of mental competence and that is defined by such currently applicable legal precedents as the American Law Institute rule, Durham rule, M'Naghten rule, and the New Hampshire rule.
- i. defense in forensic psychiatry, the use in the courtroom of i. as a mitigating factor in the defense of an individual on trial for a serious criminal offense. See criminal i..

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in·san·i·ty in-'san-ət-ē n, pl -ties
1) a severely disordered state of the mind usu. occurring as a specific disorder (as paranoid schizophrenia)
2) unsoundness of mind or lack of the ability to understand that prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or that releases one from criminal or civil responsibility

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n.
a degree of mental illness such that the affected individual is not responsible for his actions or is not capable of entering into a legal contract. The term is a legal rather than a medical one.

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in·san·i·ty (in-sanґĭ-te) [L. insanitas, from in not + sanus sound] mental derangement or disorder, a legal rather than a medical term denoting a condition due to which a person lacks criminal responsibility for a crime and therefore cannot be convicted of it. insane adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Insanity — • The dividing line between sanity and insanity, like the line that distinguishes a man of average height from a tall man, can be described only in terms of a moral estimate Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Insanity     Insanity …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • insanity — in·san·i·ty n 1: unsoundness of mind or lack of the ability to understand that prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or that releases one from criminal or… …   Law dictionary

  • Insanity — In*san i*ty, n. [L. insanitas unsoundness; cf. insania insanity, F. insanite.] 1. The state of being insane; unsoundness or derangement of mind; madness; lunacy. [1913 Webster] All power of fancy over reason is a degree of insanity. Johnson.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • insanity — insanity, lunacy, psychosis, mania, dementia are the leading general terms denoting serious mental disorder. Insanity as a technical term belongs to law rather than to medicine. It is used to cover a wide variety of mental disorders, all of which …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Insanity —    Insanity and Civilization    That insanity is a form of freedom became the basic assumption of Foucault s most widely read work, Madness and Civilization (1961). The dichotomy is significant; in the precapitalist West of the Middle Ages and… …   Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science

  • insanity — [in san′ə tē] n. pl. insanities [L insanitas < insanus] 1. the state of being insane; mental illness or derangement, usually excluding amentia: not a technical term 2. Law any form or degree of mental derangement or unsoundness of mind,… …   English World dictionary

  • insanity — 1580s, state of being insane, from L. insanitatem (nom. insanitas) unhealthfulness, noun of quality from insanus (see INSANE (Cf. insane)). Meaning extreme folly is from 1844 …   Etymology dictionary

  • insanity — [n] mental illness; foolishness aberration, absurdity, alienation, craziness, delirium, delusion, dementia, derangement, distraction, dotage, folly, frenzy, hallucination, hysteria, illusion, inanity, irrationality, irresponsibility, lunacy,… …   New thesaurus

  • Insanity — For other uses, see Insanity (disambiguation). Insane redirects here. For other uses, see Insane (disambiguation). Engraving of the eighth p …   Wikipedia

  • insanity — The term is a social and legal term rather than a medical one, and indicates a condition which renders the affected person unfit to enjoy liberty of action because of the unreliability of his behavior with concomitant danger to himself and others …   Black's law dictionary

  • insanity — /in san i tee/, n., pl. insanities. 1. the condition of being insane; a derangement of the mind. 2. Law. such unsoundness of mind as affects legal responsibility or capacity. 3. Psychiatry. (formerly) psychosis. 4. extreme folly; senselessness;… …   Universalium

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