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Pronunciation: rich'u-al

Definition: In psychiatry and psychology, any repetitive psychomotor activity (hair pulling, handwashing) performed by a person to relieve anxiety, typically seen in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

[L. ritualis, fr. ritus, rite]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.