free association

noun

Definition of free association

1a : the expression (as by speaking or writing) of the content of consciousness without censorship as an aid in gaining access to unconscious processes especially in psychoanalysis
b : the reporting of the first thought that comes to mind in response to a given stimulus (such as a word)
2 : an idea or image elicited by free association
3 : a method using free association

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Other Words from free association

free-associate \ ˌfrē-​ə-​ˈsō-​sē-​ˌāt How to pronounce free association (audio) , -​shē-​ \ intransitive verb
free-associative \ -​sē-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce free association (audio) , -​shē-​ˌā-​ -​shə-​tiv \ adjective

Examples of free association in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Under the mechanism, penalties can be brought against a specific factory for violating workers’ rights of free association and collective bargaining. BostonGlobe.com, 12 May 2021 The rapid response mechanism in the trade deal allows for the United States to take action against an individual factory in Mexico if workers there are being denied their rights to free association and collective bargaining. New York Times, 10 May 2021 Puerto Rican voters would elect a group of delegates to review the island’s status issue and create a proposal that includes solutions such as statehood, independence, or a free association. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, 5 Mar. 2021 The appeals panel held that the district court was wrong to dismiss plaintiffs’ free association claim, as their lawsuits raised a question that hasn’t yet been been decided by courts. oregonlive, 1 Mar. 2021 Commission staff rejected a SoCalGas argument that its 1st Amendment rights to free speech and free association were being violated. Sammy Roth Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2020 And part of the reason is because the U.S. values free speech and right to free association. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 9 Oct. 2020 Palau, like Pacific nations Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, holds an agreement with the U.S. known as a compact of free association. Gordon Lubold, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2020 With a population of just under 10,000, the Cooks is self-governing but in free association with New Zealand. Nick Perry, Star Tribune, 5 Sep. 2020

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

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First Known Use of free association

1925, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for free association

Time Traveler

The first known use of free association was in 1925

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Statistics for free association

Last Updated

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Free association.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/free%20association. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for free association

free association

noun

Medical Definition of free association

1a : the expression (as by speaking or writing) of the content of consciousness without censorship as an aid in gaining access to unconscious processes especially in psychoanalysis
b : the reporting of the first thought that comes to mind in response to a given stimulus (as a word)
2 : an idea or image elicited by free association
3 : a method using free association

More from Merriam-Webster on free association

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about free association

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