• synonyms

Oedipus complex

noun Psychoanalysis.
  1. 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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Origin of Oedipus complex

First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for oedipus complex

Historical Examples

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

    A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis

    Sigmund Freud

  • 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.

  • Now you will be impatient to discover what this frightful Oedipus-complex consists of.

British Dictionary definitions for oedipus complex

Oedipus complex

  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 sexCompare Electra complex
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Derived Formsoedipal 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

oedipus complex in Medicine

Oedipus complex

(ĕdə-pəs, ēdə-)
  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

oedipus complex in Culture

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.

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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.