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inferiority complex

Psychiatry. intense feeling of inferiority, producing a personality characterized either by extreme reticence or, as a result of overcompensation, by extreme aggressiveness.
lack of self-esteem; feeling of inadequacy; lack of self-confidence.
Origin of inferiority complex
First recorded in 1920-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inferiority complex
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But mainly he was a shy person who nursed his inferiority complex in secret.

    Ten From Infinity Paul W. Fairman
  • To-day psychologists talk much of the "inferiority complex" which spurs a man forward to outdo himself.

    The Iron Puddler James J. Davis
  • The inferiority complex which is the race's most persistent heritage from the past was written all over it.

    Behind the Mirrors Clinton W. Gilbert
  • Sometimes this love of attention arises from an under-developed instinct of self-assertion, or "inferiority complex."

    Outwitting Our Nerves Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury
  • The form taken by this neurosis has been provisionally termed an "inferiority complex."

  • A brave facade of self-sufficiency covers up a vast hinterland of inferiority complex fully supported by real inferiority.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • For how much longer will man be a slave to his inferiority complex with regard to his own rational capacities?

    The Necessity of Atheism Dr. D.M. Brooks
British Dictionary definitions for inferiority complex

inferiority complex

(psychiatry) a disorder arising from the conflict between the desire to be noticed and the fear of being humiliated, characterized by aggressiveness or withdrawal into oneself
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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inferiority complex in Medicine

inferiority complex n.
A persistent sense of inadequacy or the tendency to diminish oneself, sometimes resulting in excessively aggress behavior through overcompensation.

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