[kuh-thekt, ka-]

verb (used with object) Psychoanalysis.

to invest emotion or feeling in (an idea, object, or another person).

Origin of cathect

1930–35; back-formation from cathectic relating to cathexis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Word Origin and History for cathected

1936, psychoanalysis jargon, back-formation from cathectic (1927), from Greek kathektikos, from kathexis (see cathexis).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper