inferiority complex


Psychiatry. intense feeling of inferiority, producing a personality characterized either by extreme reticence or, as a result of overcompensation, by extreme aggressiveness.
lack of self-esteem; feeling of inadequacy; lack of self-confidence.

Nearby words

  1. inferior vein of cerebellar hemisphere,
  2. inferior vein of eyelid,
  3. inferior vein of vermis,
  4. inferior vena cava,
  5. inferiority,
  6. inferiorly,
  7. infernal,
  8. infernal machine,
  9. inferno,
  10. inferoanterior

Origin of inferiority complex

First recorded in 1920–25 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inferiority complex

  • I yielded to an instinct for deprecative horse-play, one of my worst faults, begot of an inferiority-complex.

    Tramping on Life|Harry Kemp

British Dictionary definitions for inferiority complex

inferiority complex


psychiatry a disorder arising from the conflict between the desire to be noticed and the fear of being humiliated, characterized by aggressiveness or withdrawal into oneself
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 inferiority complex

inferiority complex


A persistent sense of inadequacy or the tendency to diminish oneself, sometimes resulting in excessively aggressive behavior through overcompensation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.