a behavioral tendency developed in direct opposition to a repressed impulse.
Origin of reaction formation
First recorded in 1905–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for reaction formation
psychoanal a defence mechanism by which a person at a conscious level condemns a repressed wish: thus, a latent homosexual may denounce homosexuality
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
Medicine definitions for reaction formation
A defense mechanism by which an objectionable impulse is expressed in an opposite or contrasting attitude or behavior.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.