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oral personality

According to the original theories of psychoanalysis, a personality fixed emotionally in the oral stage of development, whose sexual and aggressive drives are satisfied by putting things in his or her mouth. Depending on when the fixation occurs, oral personalities tend to be either optimistic, generous, and gregarious or aggressive, ambitious, and selfish. More recently, the term has come to refer to anyone who seeks pleasure through eating or sucking: “I didn't realize he was an oral personality until I saw him smoking and chewing gum at the same time.” (Compare anal personality.)

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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.