latency period


Psychoanalysis. the stage of personality development, extending from about four or five years of age to the beginning of puberty, during which sexual urges appear to lie dormant.



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Origin of latency period

First recorded in 1905–10

Words nearby latency period Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for latency period

latency period


psychoanal a period according to Freud, from the age of about five to puberty, when sexual interest is diminished
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

Medical definitions for latency period

latency period


In psychoanalytic theory, the fourth stage of psychosexual development, extending from about age 5 to puberty, when a child apparently represses sexual urges and prefers to associate with members of the same sex. It is preceded by the phallic stage and followed by the genital stage.latency latency period
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for latency period

latency period
[ (layt-n-see) ]

According to psychoanalysis, the period in a child's development, from about age four to about age twelve, during which sexual drives are sublimated (see sublimation). Psychoanalytic theory holds that all other stages of a child's development (the anal stage, the oral stage, the genital stage or the Oedipus complex stage, and puberty) are dominated by the gratification of primarily sexual drives. During the latency period, children generally identify with the parent of the same sex and play with other children of the same sex.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.