• synonyms


[ ed-uh-puh l, ee-duh- ]
/ ˈɛd ə pəl, ˈi də- /

adjective (often initial capital letter)

of, characterized by, or resulting from the Oedipus complex.

Nearby words

oecs, oecumenical, oecus, oed, oedema, oedipal, oedipal phase, oedipean, oedipism, oedipus, oedipus at colonus

Origin of oedipal

First recorded in 1935–40; Oedip(us complex) + -al1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oedipal

Word Origin and History for oedipal



1939, "of or pertaining to desire felt for opposite-sex parent," from Oedipus complex (1910), coined by Freud from Sophocles' play "Oedipus Tyrannus," in which the title character, the Theban hero, answers the Sphinx's riddle and unknowingly kills his father and marries his own mother; from Greek Oedipus. The name was used figuratively in English from 1550s for "one who is clever at guessing riddles," which had adjectival form Oedipean (1620s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for oedipal



Of or characteristic of the Oedipus complex.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.