psy·​cho·​anal·​y·​sis | \ ˌsī-kō-ə-ˈna-lə-səs How to pronounce psychoanalysis (audio) \

Definition of psychoanalysis

: a method of analyzing psychic phenomena and treating emotional disorders that involves treatment sessions during which the patient is encouraged to talk freely about personal experiences and especially about early childhood and dreams

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Other Words from psychoanalysis

psychoanalyst \ ˌsī-​kō-​ˈa-​nə-​list How to pronounce psychoanalyst (audio) \ noun

Examples of psychoanalysis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But Freudian psychoanalysis was slippery: Any fault of your mother’s could be worked into your diagnosis. Quanta Magazine, "A Fight for the Soul of Science," 16 Dec. 2015 Her more than 30 books have covered topics including linguistics, psychoanalysis, literary theory and feminism. Jennifer Schuessler And Boryana Dzhambazova, New York Times, "Bulgaria Says French Thinker Was a Secret Agent. She Calls It a ‘Barefaced Lie.’," 1 Apr. 2018 Drawing from Symbolism, Neo-Classicism and psychoanalysis, Pittura Metafisica was influenced by people as diverse as Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Henri Rousseau, André Derain, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Sigmund Freud. Lance Esplund, WSJ, "‘Metaphysical Masterpieces 1916-1920: Morandi, Sironi, and Carrà’ Review: Every Object’s Mysteries," 16 Jan. 2019 Her gusts of anger are a refreshing antidote to the still air of psychoanalysis, and her mixture of cruelty and devotion makes her uncomfortably real, a human being among case studies. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Enduring Appeal of Fading Pleasures," 27 Sep. 2018 Recently, after taking a few years out to combat depression and undergo psychoanalysis, the singer triumphantly returned with a new single, and album, Honey. Vogue, "Robyn on RBN, Her New Collaboration With Björn Borg; Being a Tomboy; and Starting Again From Zero," 30 Nov. 2018 Freud is still dead, but psychoanalysis may be experiencing a rebirth. Penelope Green, New York Times, "Still Talking After All These Years," 17 Feb. 2018 The crime drama imagines the founder of psychoanalysis teaming up with a medium and a local cop to track a serial killer terrorizing Vienna. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Netflix Books Session With Austrian Period Crime Thriller 'Freud'," 5 July 2018 Coaching is focused on outcome and result, not psychoanalysis. Vogue, "How Anna K. Made the Transition from ’90s Catwalker to Life Coach for Models (and Acquired a Title Along the Way)," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'psychoanalysis.' 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 psychoanalysis

1906, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for psychoanalysis

New Latin

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Statistics for psychoanalysis

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for psychoanalysis

The first known use of psychoanalysis was in 1906

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More Definitions for psychoanalysis



English Language Learners Definition of psychoanalysis

: a method of explaining and treating mental and emotional problems by having the patient talk about dreams, feelings, memories, etc.


psy·​cho·​anal·​y·​sis | \ ˌsī-kō-ə-ˈnal-ə-səs How to pronounce psychoanalysis (audio) \
variants: also psychanalysis \ ˌsī-​kə-​ How to pronounce psychanalysis (audio) \
plural psychoanalyses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce psychoanalyses (audio) \

Medical Definition of psychoanalysis

1 : a method of analyzing psychic phenomena and treating mental and emotional disorders that is based on the concepts and theories of Sigmund Freud, that emphasizes the importance of free association and dream analysis, and that involves treatment sessions during which the patient is encouraged to talk freely about personal experiences and especially about early childhood and dreams
2 : a body of empirical findings and a set of theories on human motivation, behavior, and personality development that developed especially with the aid of psychoanalysis
3 : a school of psychology, psychiatry, and psychotherapy founded by Sigmund Freud and rooted in and applying psychoanalysis

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More from Merriam-Webster on psychoanalysis

Spanish Central: Translation of psychoanalysis

Nglish: Translation of psychoanalysis for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about psychoanalysis

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