[ kuh-thek-sis ]
/ kəˈθɛk sɪs /

noun, plural ca·thex·es [kuh-thek-seez] /kəˈθɛk siz/. Psychoanalysis.

the investment of emotional significance in an activity, object, or idea.
the charge of psychic energy so invested.

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 forms

ca·thec·tic [kuh-thek-tik] /kəˈθɛk tɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cathexis

British Dictionary definitions for cathexis


/ (kəˈθɛksɪs) /

noun plural -thexes (-ˈθɛksiːz)

psychoanal concentration of psychic energy on a single goal

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

Medicine definitions for cathexis


[ kə-thĕksĭs ]

n. pl. ca•thex•es (-thĕksēz)

Concentration of emotional energy on an object or idea.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.