- desire for one's own death or for the death of another.
- Psychiatry. a suicidal desire, manifested by passivity, withdrawal, and absorption in nihilistic thoughts, that may eventually lead to suicidal behavior.
Origin of death wish
First recorded in 1910–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for death wish
Let us continue with the removal or death-wish which most frequently can be traced back to the unbounded egoism of the dreamer.
A much worse confusion seems to underlie the assurance that back of every dream one finds the "death-clause," or death-wish.
- (in Freudian psychology) the desire for self-annihilationSee also Thanatos
- A desire for self-destruction, often accompanied by feelings of depression, hopelessness, and self-reproach.
- A suicidal urge that presumably drives certain people to put themselves consistently into dangerous situations.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.