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repetition-compulsion

(rĕp′ĭ-tĭshən-kəm-pŭlshən)
n.
  1. In psychoanalysis, the tendency to repeat earlier experiences or actions in an unconscious effort to achieve belated mastery over them.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.