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[kuh-thekt, ka-]
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verb (used with object) Psychoanalysis.
  1. to invest emotion or feeling in (an idea, object, or another person).
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Origin of cathect

1930–35; back-formation from cathectic relating to cathexis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for cathected


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper