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Oedipus complex

[ ed-uh-puhs kom-pleks, ee-duh- ]

noun

, Psychoanalysis.
  1. an unconscious sexual desire directed toward a parent of a different gender, especially by a son toward his mother, usually originating in childhood and expressed through rivalry with the other parent. Compare Electra complex.


Oedipus complex

noun

  1. psychoanal a group of emotions, usually unconscious, involving the desire of a child, esp a male child, to possess sexually the parent of the opposite sex while excluding the parent of the same sex Compare Electra complex


Oedipus complex

  1. In Freudian theory, the unconscious desire of a young child for sexual intercourse with the parent of the opposite sex, especially between boys and their mothers ( see genital stage ). Followers of the psychologist Sigmund Freud long believed that the Oedipus complex was common to all cultures , although many psychiatrists now refute this belief. The Oedipus complex is named after the mythical Oedipus , who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother.


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Derived Forms

  • ˈoedipal, adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of Oedipus complex1

First recorded in 1890–95

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Example Sentences

In this sense the Oedipus-complex is correctly designated as the nucleus of the neurosis.

But even this factor cannot seriously undermine the spontaneous character of the childish Oedipus-complex.

But it would be a vain endeavor to explain the whole of the Oedipus-complex by "imagining back," and as related to later times.

You will remember that we were led to a similar alternative in the discussion of the Oedipus-complex.

Oedipus Complex: Over-strong bond between mother and son, or (more loosely) between father and daughter.

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Oedipus at ColonusOedipus Rex