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reaction formation

[ ree-ak-shuhn fawr-mey-shuhn ]
/ riˈæk ʃən fɔrˌmeɪ ʃən /
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noun Psychoanalysis, Psychology.
a defense mechanism in which a repressed impulse is expressed through behavior that is in direct opposition: An inferiority complex manifesting as narcissistic personalty disorder is a classic reaction formation.
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Origin of reaction formation

First recorded in 1905–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use reaction formation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for reaction formation

reaction formation

noun
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
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