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Pronunciation: with-draw'al


  1. The act of removal or retreat.
  2. A psychological and/or physical syndrome caused by the abrupt cessation of the use of a drug in an habituated person.
  3. The therapeutic process of discontinuing a drug to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal (2).
  4. A pattern of behavior observed in schizophrenia and depression, characterized by a pathologic retreat from interpersonal contact and social involvement and leading to self-preoccupation.

See Also: withdrawal symptoms, under symptom, withdrawal syndrome

Further information

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