Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

oedipal

play
adjective, often capitalized oe·di·pal \ˈe-də-pəl, ˈē-\

Simple Definition of oedipal

  • psychology : of, relating to, or resulting from an Oedipus complex

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of oedipal

  1. :  of, relating to, or resulting from the Oedipus complex

oedipally

play \-pə-lē\ adverb often capitalized

Did You Know?

In Greek mythology, the king of Thebes, in response to a dreadful prophecy, abandoned his infant son Oedipus, who was then brought up by shepherds. Grown to manhood, Oedipus slew his father almost accidentally, not recognizing him, and then married his mother. When the shameful truth was discovered, the mother committed suicide and Oedipus blinded himself and went into exile. The psychiatrist Sigmund Freud invented the term Oedipus complex to mean a sexual desire that a child normally feels toward the parent of the opposite sex, along with jealous feelings toward the parent of the same sex. In Freud's theory (not accepted by everyone today), lingering oedipal feelings are an essential source of adult personality disorder, and can result in choosing a spouse who closely resembles your father or mother.

1939

First Known Use of oedipal

1939


Medical Dictionary

oedipal

play play
adjective , often capitalized oe·di·pal \ˈed-ə-pəl, ˈēd-\

Medical Definition of oedipal

  1. :  of, relating to, or resulting from the Oedipus complex

oedipally

\-pə-lē\play adverb often capitalized


Biographical Note for oedipal

Oedipus

\ˈed-i-pəs, ˈēd-\play , Greek mythological character. In Greek mythology Oedipus was the son of Laius and Jocasta, the king and queen of Thebes. Because at his birth an oracle had predicted that he would someday murder his father and marry his mother, Oedipus was abandoned by his parents, but he survived to maturity. Through a highly improbable series of circumstances, he fulfilled the prophecy: he unknowingly slew his father and later married his widowed mother, thereby succeeding his father to the throne. When the truth was eventually revealed to all, Jocasta committed suicide and Oedipus blinded himself.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up oedipal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

beat defame divulge placate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ