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free association

noun, Psychoanalysis.
the uncensored expression of the ideas, impressions, etc., passing through the mind of the analysand, a technique used to facilitate access to the unconscious.
Origin of free association
First recorded in 1895-1900 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for free association
Contemporary Examples
  • Non sequiturista Renata Espinosa plays a game of free association with the Fall 2009 collections.

Historical Examples
  • Test the class for speed of free association as described on page 193.

    The Science of Human Nature William Henry Pyle
  • Also, a premium can be contracted for, in the way of free association, for skilled labour.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • On the contrary, as they arise through the free association of individuals, so also may they be freely dissolved.

  • Habitual association of ideas, and free association of ideas are interfered with.

    How to Live Irving Fisher and Eugene Fisk
  • The dream, as a rule, merely furnishes the starting-point for free association.

    Outwitting Our Nerves Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury
  • It is not free association, but the forms of association which they would impose upon us.

    Essays on Political Economy Frederic Bastiat
  • free association: A device for uncovering buried complexes by letting the mind wander without conscious direction.

    Outwitting Our Nerves Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury
  • Each has a right to the full return from his labour; this is obtained by free association of the workers.

    Anarchism E. V. Zenker
  • The universal ballot, free speech, free press, free association are accomplished.

British Dictionary definitions for free association

free association

(psychoanal) a method of exploring a person's unconscious by eliciting words and thoughts that are associated with key words provided by a psychoanalyst
a spontaneous mental process whereby ideas, words, or images suggest other ideas, etc, in a nonlogical chain reaction
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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free association in Medicine

free association n.
A psychoanalytic technique in which a patient verbalizes the passing contents of his or her mind without reservation. The verbalized conflicts that emerge constitute resistances that are the basis of the psychoanalyst's interpretations.

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