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[li-bee-doh] /lɪˈbi doʊ/
noun, plural libidos.
Psychoanalysis. all of the instinctual energies and desires that are derived from the id.
sexual instinct or sexual drive.
Origin of libido
1890-95; < Latin libīdō desire, willfulness, lust, akin to libēre to be pleasing
Related forms
[li-bid-n-l] /lɪˈbɪd n l/ (Show IPA),
libidinally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for libido


noun (pl) -dos
(psychoanal) psychic energy emanating from the id
sexual urge or desire
Derived Forms
libidinal (lɪˈbɪdɪnəl) adjective
libidinally, adverb
Word Origin
C20 (in psychoanalysis): from Latin: desire
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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Word Origin and History for libido

"psychic drive or energy, usually associated with sexual instinct," 1892, carried over untranslated in English edition of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis"; and used in 1909 in A.A. Brill's translation of Freud's "Selected Papers on Hysteria" (Freud's use of the term led to its popularity); from Latin libido "desire, lust," from libere "to be pleasing, to please," ultimately cognate with Old English lufu (see love (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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libido in Medicine

libido li·bi·do (lĭ-bē'dō, -bī'-)
n. pl. li·bi·dos

  1. The psychic and emotional energy associated with instinctual biological drives.

  2. Sexual desire.

  3. Manifestation of the sexual drive.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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libido in Culture
libido [(luh-bee-doh)]

In Freudian psychology, the energy associated with the desires that come from the id.

Note: Libido is loosely used to mean sexual desire.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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