Word blindness: A neurological disorder characterized by loss of the ability to read or understand the written word. Word blindness is a complex visual disturbance resulting from disease in the visual-association areas at the back of the brain. Someone who has had a stroke may be left with pure (total) or partial word blindness. Partial word blindness permits the individual to recognize letters but only read only certain types of words such as the concrete noun "inn" but not the more abstract preposition "in". Word blindness is also called alexia [from the Greek prefix "a-" (without or not) + "lexis" (word) = without word].