Definition of oedipal
: of, relating to, or resulting from the Oedipus complex
oedipallyplay \-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.
First Known Use of oedipal
OEDIPAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of oedipal for English Language Learners
psychology : of, relating to, or resulting from an Oedipus complex
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.
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