Oedipus complex

[ ed-uh-puhs kom-pleks, ee-duh- ]
/ ˈɛd ə pəs ˌkɒm plɛks, ˈi də- /
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noun Psychoanalysis.
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.
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Also Oed·i·pal com·plex [ed-uh-puhl kom-pleks, ee-duh-] /ˈɛd ə pəl ˌkɒm plɛks, ˈi də-/ .

Origin of Oedipus complex

First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use Oedipus complex in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Oedipus complex

Oedipus complex

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

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.