Oedipus complex


noun Psychoanalysis.

the unresolved desire of a child for sexual gratification through the parent of the opposite sex, especially the desire of a son for his mother. This involves, first, identification with and, later, hatred for the parent of the same sex, who is considered by the child as a rival.

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Compare Electra complex.

Origin of Oedipus complex

First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for Oedipus complex

British Dictionary definitions for Oedipus complex

Oedipus complex

noun

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 sexCompare Electra complex

Derived forms of Oedipus complex

oedipal or oedipean, adjective
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 Oedipus complex

Oedipus complex
[ ĕdə-pəs, ēdə- ]

n.

In psychoanalytic theory, a subconscious sexual desire in a child, especially a male child, for the parent of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by hostility to the parent of the same sex.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for Oedipus complex

Oedipus complex
[ (ed-uh-puhs, ee-duh-puhs) ]

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.

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.