[ih-lab-uh-rey-shuh n]
  1. an act or instance of elaborating.
  2. the state of being elaborated; elaborateness.
  3. something that is elaborated.
  4. Psychiatry. an unconscious process of expanding and embellishing a detail, especially while recalling and describing a representation in a dream so that latent content of the dream is brought into a logical and comprehensible order.

Origin of elaboration

1570–80; < Latin ēlabōrātiōn- (stem of ēlabōrātiō), equivalent to ēlabōrāt- (see elaborate) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsself-e·lab·o·ra·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for self-elaboration



1570s, in a physiological sense relating to tissue development, from Late Latin elaborationem (nominative elaboratio), noun of action from past participle stem of elaborare "work out, produce by labor," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + laborare "to labor" (see labor (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

self-elaboration in Medicine


  1. The process of working out in detail by labor and study.
  2. The mental process occurring partly during dreaming and partly during the recalling or telling of a dream, by means of which the latent content of the dream is brought into increasingly more coherent and logical order, resulting in the manifest content of the dream.
Related formse•labo•rate′ v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.