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Definition of OEDIPUS COMPLEX
: the positive libidinal feelings of a child toward the parent of the opposite sex and hostile or jealous feelings toward the parent of the same sex that in Freudian psychoanalytic theory may be a source of adult personality disorder when unresolved
: a child's positive libidinal feelings toward the parent of the opposite sex and hostile or jealous feelings toward the parent of the same sex that develop usually between the ages of three and six and that may be a source of adult personality disorder when unresolved—used especially of the male child; see electra complex
: the unresolved oedipal feelings persisting into adult life
In psychoanalytic theory, a desire for sexual involvement with the parent of the opposite sex and a sense of rivalry with the parent of the same sex. The term was introduced by Sigmund Freud in his Interpretation of Dreams (1899) and is derived from the mythological Oedipus, who killed his father and married his mother; its female analogue is the Electra complex. Considered a normal stage in the development of children ages three to five, it ends when the child identifies with the parent of the same sex and represses its sexual instincts. Freud believed that the process of overcoming the Oedipus complex gave rise to the superego.