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 Another theory regarding the origin of the fainting couch is connected to Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Everything You Need to Know About a Fainting Couch," 23 Aug. 2019 Transference and countertransferance—offspring of Freudian psychoanalysis—are cogs in the same moribund engine. Erica Rex, Scientific American, "The Power of Psychedelics," 12 July 2020 The way psychoanalysis lacks an account of nut milks. Ben Lerner, The New York Review of Books, "The Rose," 6 July 2020 In normal psychoanalysis consultations, what is not said can be just as important as what is. 1843, "The virtual couch," 26 June 2020 So Donovan commissioned a psychoanalysis of Hitler written by Walter Langer. CBS News, "Former CIA museum curator highlights the agency's most important artifacts - transcript," 17 June 2020 And the particularity of the tone is psychoanalysis at its best—nothing to say. Jamieson Webster, The New York Review of Books, "Psychoanalysis in Time of Plague," 1 Apr. 2020 Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, is played by Austrian actor Robert Finster. Marianne Garvey, CNN, "Sigmund Freud hunts down a serial killer in new Netflix show," 23 Mar. 2020 Leonard, a bookish youngster, attended Syracuse University for one semester before transferring to Columbia College in New York, where one of his teachers, the literary critic Lionel Trilling, sparked his interest in Freud and psychoanalysis. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Dr. Leonard Shengold, 94, Psychoanalyst Who Studied Child Abuse, Dies," 4 Feb. 2020

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

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Psychoanalysis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce psychoanalysis (audio)

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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