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Definition: The inability to make decisions or act independently.  This can be an ongoing personality trait or a condition caused by a stroke, mental illness, head trauma, or drug addiction.

Pronunciation: Ah-boo-lee-ah


The first known recorded use was around 1864.  It is derived from the Greek a (not, without) + boule (from boulomai, to will).

Why this word?

This is a great word.  I love this word and want to use it in my daily conversations.  I can’t use this word enough and need to find more places where it fits appropriately into the conversation.

Or do I?  Maybe I don’t.  I’m just not sure.  What should I do?  Should I use it or not?  Does it accurately convey what I’m attempting to express, or does it fall short of true descriptive meaning?  What should I do?

Doesn’t everyone need a word to better convey an inability to decide?

Or maybe they don’t.  I’m not sure.

How to use the word abulia ina sentence?

“Professor, I have to admit the truth.  I suffered from a massive attack of abulia last night and was unable to decide which homework assignment to work on.  So I didn’t do any.”

“My worst trait?  It has to be how abulic (adjectival use) I am.  Maybe?  Or is it my verbosity?  Or my procrastination?  No, definitely the abulia.”


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Written by Kate Fulton

Kate Fulton has a bachelor’s degree in classics and psychology from the University of Massachusetts and is working on a library science degree from Simmons College. She has always been fascinated by words- their usage, spelling, and etymology. Kate may be one of the few people who enjoyed the verbal section of the SAT. Yes, she is a word geek. Currently she bores her husband and young daughter with her love of vocabulary.


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