[ kuh-thek-sis ]

noun,plural ca·thex·es [kuh-thek-seez]. /kəˈθɛk siz/. Psychoanalysis.
  1. the investment of emotional significance in an activity, object, or idea.

  2. the charge of psychic energy so invested.

Origin of cathexis

First recorded in 1920–25; from New Latin, from Greek káthexis “a keeping,” equivalent to kathek- (variant stem of katéchein “to keep, hold on to,” equivalent to kat- cat- + échein “to have, hold”) + -sis -sis, as translation of German Besetzung a taking possession of (Freud's term)

Other words from cathexis

  • ca·thec·tic [kuh-thek-tik], /kəˈθɛk tɪk/, adjective

Words Nearby cathexis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use cathexis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cathexis


/ (kəˈθɛksɪs) /

nounplural -thexes (-ˈθɛksiːz)
  1. psychoanal concentration of psychic energy on a single goal

Origin of cathexis

C20: from New Latin, from Greek kathexis, from katekhein to hold fast, intended to render German Besetzung a taking possession of

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