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free association

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noun Psychoanalysis.
  1. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for free association

Historical Examples

  • Both creative writers, artists and scientific problem solvers use the stream of consciousness or free-association skill.

    Sequential Problem Solving

    Fredric Lozo


British Dictionary definitions for free association

free association

noun
  1. psychoanal a method of exploring a person's unconscious by eliciting words and thoughts that are associated with key words provided by a psychoanalyst
  2. 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

free association in Medicine

free association

(frē)
n.
  1. 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.