collective unconscious

noun

Definition of collective unconscious 

: the inherited part of the unconscious that especially in the psychoanalytic theory of C. G. Jung occurs in and is shared by all the members of a people or race

Examples of collective unconscious in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

If, for decades now, true crime served as the collective unconscious of so many women, all the taboo topics the culture as a whole represses, what happens when the culture is unable to repress them any longer? Megan Abbott, latimes.com, "Why do we — women in particular — love true crime books?," 14 June 2018 Out of these diverse histories, shared motifs emerge, like recurring dreams in a collective unconscious. The Economist, "Ghosts of the road, spectres at the feast," 28 Mar. 2018 And although there's every reason to think that this latest tragedy will recede into our collective unconscious like the seemingly countless others that have preceded it, something feels different this time. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic’s Notebook: CNN’s Town Hall on Guns Proves that Young People — Not Politicians — Are Our Only Hope," 22 Feb. 2018 The fashion audience has never been more sophisticated, and designers are having a blast mixing and mashing ideas — and mining our collective unconscious. Rebecca Ramsey, The Cut, "Let’s Decode the Runway," 7 Feb. 2018 These visionary fish have unparalleled access to the collective unconscious through their clairvoyance and make incredible artists and creatives. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The Personality of a Pisces, Explained," 2 Feb. 2018 But if the collective unconscious is drawing from different points of reference, things can get awkward. Brandon R. Reynolds, Los Angeles Magazine, "There’s a Sudden Burst of Color in L.A.’s Improv Scene," 19 Jan. 2018 That cry echoes down 2,500 years of history, out of the collective unconscious. Jeff Macgregor, Smithsonian, "The Healing Power of Greek Tragedy," 26 Oct. 2017 Sometimes a dress worms its way into the fashion world’s collective unconscious. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "This Is the Most Popular Dress at New York Fashion Week," 12 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'collective unconscious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of collective unconscious

1917, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about collective unconscious

Share collective unconscious

Statistics for collective unconscious

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for collective unconscious

The first known use of collective unconscious was in 1917

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for collective unconscious

collective unconscious

noun
col·lec·tive unconscious | \kə-ˈlek-tiv- \

Medical Definition of collective unconscious 

: the genetically determined part of the unconscious that especially in the psychoanalytic theory of C. G. Jung occurs in all the members of a people or race

More from Merriam-Webster on collective unconscious

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about collective unconscious

Comments on collective unconscious

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

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!