- 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.
Origin of inferiority complex
First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for inferiority complex
Historical Examples of inferiority complex
I yielded to an instinct for deprecative horse-play, one of my worst faults, begot of an inferiority-complex.Tramping on Life
- 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
- 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.