• synonyms

latency period

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  1. Psychoanalysis. the stage of personality development, extending from about four or five years of age to the beginning of puberty, during which sexual urges appear to lie dormant.
  2. Pathology. latent period(def 1).

Origin of latency period

First recorded in 1905–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for latency period

latency period

  1. psychoanal a period according to Freud, from the age of about five to puberty, when sexual interest is diminished
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

latency period in Culture

latency period


According to psychoanalysis, the period in a child's development, from about age four to about age twelve, during which sexual drives are sublimated (see sublimation). Psychoanalytic theory holds that all other stages of a child's development (the anal stage, the oral stage, the genital stage or the Oedipus complex stage, and puberty) are dominated by the gratification of primarily sexual drives. During the latency period, children generally identify with the parent of the same sex and play with other children of the same sex.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.