/klep'teuh may"nee euh, -mayn"yeuh/, n. Psychol.
an irresistible impulse to steal, stemming from emotional disturbance rather than economic need.
[1820-30; klepto- (comb. form of Gk kléptes thief) + -MANIA]

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      recurrent compulsion to steal without regard to the value or use of the objects stolen. Although widely known and sometimes used as an attempted legal defense by arrested thieves, genuine kleptomania is a fairly rare mental disorder. A kleptomaniac may hide, give away, or secretly return the stolen items, but he seldom uses them or attempts to profit by their resale. The kleptomaniac usually has the economic means to purchase what he steals and obtains gratification from the theft itself rather than from its object.

      Kleptomania is classified as a disorder of impulse control, meaning that the victim is unable to overcome the urge to steal and feels an increasing tension with attempts to resist, until yielding to the impulse gives release. In some cases, the stolen objects may have a symbolic sexual or other significance for the kleptomaniac, but the sexual aspects of the disorder are not always evident.

      Psychotherapy can be effective in alleviating the disorder, but few kleptomaniacs seek help unless they are caught in a theft or are referred to a psychiatrist for treatment of depression or anxiety related to their fears of being apprehended.

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Universalium. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • kleptomania — (n.) 1830, formed from MANIA (Cf. mania) + Gk. kleptes thief, from kleptein to steal, act secretly, from PIE *klep to steal, an extention of root *kel to cover, conceal (see CELL (Cf. cell); Cf. L. clepere …   Etymology dictionary

  • Kleptomania — Klep to*ma ni*a, n. [Gr. kle pths thief + E. mania.] A propensity to steal, claimed to be irresistible. This does not constitute legal irresponsibility. Wharton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • kleptomania — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 7}}[wym. kleptomańja] {{/stl 7}}{{stl 8}}rz. ż IIb, blm {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} chorobliwa skłonność do kradzieży różnych, zwykle drobnych przedmiotów, dokonywanej pod wpływem nieodpartego impulsu <gr.> {{/stl 7}} …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • kleptomania — ► NOUN ▪ a recurrent urge to steal. DERIVATIVES kleptomaniac noun & adjective. ORIGIN from Greek klept s thief …   English terms dictionary

  • kleptomania — [klep΄tō mā′nē ə, klep΄təmā′nē ə] n. [ModL < Gr kleptēs, thief (< IE base * klep , to hide, steal > L clepere, Goth hlifan, to steal) + MANIA] an abnormal, persistent impulse or tendency to steal, not prompted by need kleptomaniac n.,… …   English World dictionary

  • Kleptomania — For other uses, see Kleptomania (disambiguation). Kleptomania Classification and external resources ICD 10 F63.2 ICD 9 …   Wikipedia

  • kleptomania — noun Etymology: New Latin Date: 1830 a persistent neurotic impulse to steal especially without economic motive …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • kleptomania — noun /ˌklɛptəˈmeɪniə, ˈmeɪnjə/ a psychological disorder that causes an obsession with stealing without material need See Also: kleptomaniac, kleptomaniacal …   Wiktionary

  • kleptomania — A disorder of impulse control characterized by a morbid tendency to steal. [G. klepto, to steal, + mania, insanity] * * * klep·to·ma·nia .klep tə mā nē ə, nyə n a persistent neurotic impulse to steal esp. without economic motive * * * n. a… …   Medical dictionary

  • kleptomania — (Roget s IV) n. Syn. compulsion to steal, thievishness, light fingeredness; see neurosis , theft …   English dictionary for students

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