• synonyms


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.
Show More

Origin of cathexis

1920–25; < New Latin < 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)
Related formsca·thec·tic [kuh-thek-tik] /kəˈθɛk tɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cathexis

Contemporary Examples of cathexis

British Dictionary definitions for cathexis


noun plural -thexes (-ˈθɛksiːz)
  1. psychoanal concentration of psychic energy on a single goal
Show More

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for cathexis


1922, from Latinized form of Greek kathexis "holding, retention," from PIE root *segh- "to hold" (see scheme (n.)). Used by psychologists to render Freud's (libido)besetzung.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cathexis in Medicine


n. pl. ca•thex•es (-thĕksēz)
  1. Concentration of emotional energy on an object or idea.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.