abreaction

noun

ab·​re·​ac·​tion ˌa-brē-ˈak-shən How to pronounce abreaction (audio)
: the expression and emotional discharge of unconscious material (such as a repressed idea or emotion) by verbalization especially in the presence of a therapist
abreact verb

Examples of abreaction in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web All must be resolved now by collective abreaction, whereby literary critics will be the handmaidens of a sort of universal truth-and-reconciliation event: cathartic Rapture. Will Self, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abreaction.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

partial translation of German Abreagieren, noun use of abreagieren "to release or express (an emotion previously repressed or forgotten)," from ab "down, from" (going back to Old High German aba) + reagieren "to react," borrowed from French réagir, borrowed (with adaptation to agir "to act, take effect") from New Latin reagere — more at of entry 1, react

First Known Use

1912, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abreaction was in 1912

Dictionary Entries Near abreaction

Cite this Entry

“Abreaction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abreaction. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

abreaction

noun
ab·​re·​ac·​tion ˌab-rē-ˈak-shən How to pronounce abreaction (audio)
: the expression and emotional discharge of unconscious material (as a repressed idea or emotion) by verbalization especially in the presence of a therapist compare catharsis sense 2
abreact verb
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