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double bind

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noun
  1. 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.
  2. dilemma(def 1).
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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. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for double bind

double bind

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