Word of the day – Mythomania

Word of the Day : October 12, 2020

Mythomania

noun mith-uh-MAY-nee-uh

Definition

  • : an excessive or abnormal propensity for lying and exaggerating

Did you know?

We wouldn’t lie to you about the history of mythomania. It comes, via the French mythomanie, from two ancient roots: the Greek mŷthos (meaning “myth”) and the Late Latin mania (meaning “insanity marked by uncontrolled emotion or excitement”). One myth about mythomania is that it’s a very old word; actually, the earliest known uses of the term date only from the beginning of the 20th century. It was predated by a related word, mythomaniac, which appeared around the middle of the 19th century. Mythomaniac referred to someone who was obsessed with or passionate about myths before it was applied to individuals affected with or exhibiting mythomania.

Examples

The idea of trust is an important theme in the book; the reader is never sure of the extent of the protagonist’s mythomania.

“It is hard to differentiate between habitual lying and mythomania because some people engage in telling white lies to avoid hurting others’ feelings. The pathological liar, by contrast, cannot help lying, even when the lie causes harm.” — Gloria Wall, Journal Review (Crawfordsville, Indiana), 27 Apr. 2020

merriam-webster.com