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death wish

desire for one's own death or for the death of another.
Psychiatry. a suicidal desire, manifested by passivity, withdrawal, and absorption in nihilistic thoughts, that may eventually lead to suicidal behavior.
Origin of death wish
First recorded in 1910-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for death wish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • An evil impulse—a death wish—towards the beloved person is always at the basis of the formation of a prohibition.

    Totem and Taboo Sigmund Freud
  • In other cases the death wish, while obvious in the manifest dream content, appears absurd and may cause the patient some anxiety.

    Psychoanalysis Andr Tridon
  • It creates the death wish toward all who thwart our interests or who may in the future do so.

    The Psychology of Nations G.E. Partridge
British Dictionary definitions for death wish

death wish

(in Freudian psychology) the desire for self-annihilation See also Thanatos
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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death wish in Medicine

death wish n.

  1. A desire for self-destruction, often accompanied by feelings of depression, hopelessness, and self-reproach.

  2. A suicidal urge that presumably drives certain people to put themselves consistently into dangerous situations.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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