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 psychoanalysis (audio) \ noun

Examples of psychoanalysis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After learning the art of cold writing and psychoanalysis from Pete, Stan leaves and reinvents himself as a psychic for the wealthy. Katherine Tinsley, Good Housekeeping, 19 Mar. 2022 On the plus side, though, Clayton put his remaining women through some long-overdue psychoanalysis. Kristen Baldwin,, 22 Feb. 2022 Some claimed that the Method amounted to unlicensed psychoanalysis, but Strasberg countered with an ingenious defense. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022 After his early experience with traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, Dr. Beck searched for experimental proof of its efficacy. Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2021 The hackneyed premise about a film-nerd cuckold in need of psychoanalysis distracts from the real-life dilemma of personal betrayal. Armond White, National Review, 4 Feb. 2022 Gunther’s own psychoanalysis in Vienna with Wilhelm Stekel, one of Freud’s first disciples, helped consolidate his views. Deborah Cohen, The Atlantic, 8 Mar. 2022 The house is the embodiment of therapy and very rudimentary Freudian psychoanalysis. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Feb. 2022 Mind-scientists labor to explicate us, with theories ranging from Freudian psychoanalysis to neuro-evo-psycho-cognitive whatever. John Horgan, Scientific American, 22 Dec. 2021 See More

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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Time Traveler for psychoanalysis

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The first known use of psychoanalysis was in 1906

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Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Psychoanalysis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for psychoanalysis


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

More from Merriam-Webster on psychoanalysis

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


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