double bind


noun

Psychology. a situation in which a person is given conflicting cues, especially by a parent, such that to obey one cue is to disobey the other.

Nearby words

  1. double bass,
  2. double bassoon,
  3. double batten,
  4. double bed,
  5. double bill,
  6. double blind experiment,
  7. double block,
  8. double blossom,
  9. double bogey,
  10. double boiler

Origin of double bind

An Americanism dating back to 1955–60

Can be confuseddouble bind double-blind

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for double bind

double bind

noun

a situation of conflict from which there is no escape; unresolvable dilemma
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