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reaction formation

noun, Psychoanalysis.
a behavioral tendency developed in direct opposition to a repressed impulse.
Origin of reaction formation
First recorded in 1905-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for reaction formation
Historical Examples
  • But in general it is necessary to separate from each other sublimation and reaction formation as two diverse processes.

  • Now we know from neuropsychology that burning ambition in later years represents a reaction formation to infantile bed wetting.

    Sleep Walking and Moon Walking Isidor Isaak Sadger
British Dictionary definitions for reaction formation

reaction formation

(psychoanal) a defence mechanism by which a person at a conscious level condemns a repressed wish: thus, a latent homosexual may denounce homosexuality
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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reaction formation in Medicine

reaction formation n.
A defense mechanism by which an objectionable impulse is expressed in an opposite or contrasting attitude or behavior.

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