obsession

[uh b-sesh-uh n]
noun
  1. the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
  2. the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
  3. the state of being obsessed.
  4. the act of obsessing.

Origin of obsession

1505–15; < Latin obsessiōn- (stem of obsessiō) blockade, siege, equivalent to obsess(us) (see obsess) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsob·ses·sion·al, adjectivenon·ob·ses·sion, nounnon·ob·ses·sion·al, adjectiveself-ob·ses·sion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for obsessional

Contemporary Examples of obsessional

  • Some personality styles seem more prone to instant tearing than others; the hysterical can be contrasted with the obsessional.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why Do We Cry?

    Michael Trimble

    January 10, 2013

Historical Examples of obsessional


British Dictionary definitions for obsessional

obsession

noun
  1. psychiatry a persistent idea or impulse that continually forces its way into consciousness, often associated with anxiety and mental illness
  2. a persistent preoccupation, idea, or feeling
  3. the act of obsessing or the state of being obsessed
Derived Formsobsessional, adjectiveobsessionally, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for obsessional

obsession

n.

1510s, "action of besieging," from French obsession and directly from Latin obsessionem (nominative obsessio) "siege, blockade, a blocking up," noun of action from past participle stem of obsidere "to besiege" (see obsess). Later (c.1600), "hostile action of an evil spirit" (like possession but without the spirit actually inhabiting the body). Transferred sense of "action of anything which engrosses the mind" is from 1670s. Psychological sense is from 1901.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

obsessional in Medicine

obsession

[əb-sĕshən, ŏb-]
n.
  1. Compulsive preoccupation with an idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.
  2. A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion.
Related formsob•session•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

obsessional in Culture

obsession

A preoccupation with a feeling or idea. In psychology, an obsession is similar to a compulsion.

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.