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 In the course of two days, Lopez spoke for hours at a stretch, with clarity and unguardedness; having spent years in psychoanalysis, he is practiced in poring over his experiences. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "How Matthew Lopez Transformed “Howards End” Into an Epic Play About Gay Life," 2 Sep. 2019 Another theory regarding its origin is connected to Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Everything You Need to Know About a Fainting Couch," 23 Aug. 2019 In a thoughtful, informative essay, Erica E. Hirshler writes of Bloom’s interest in the mysteries, his journeys on LSD and psychoanalysis. Nina Maclaughlin,, "Bodies in detail, Kipling in Vermont, and Shakespeare in the park," 18 July 2019 The play takes a stab at psychoanalysis to humanize the inscrutable superstar, who ferociously guarded her privacy during a career that included stage and screen triumphs and a fair amount of flops. Patti Hartigan,, "In ‘Tea at Five,’ Faye Dunaway delivers the full flavor of Kate Hepburn," 30 June 2019 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

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

15 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for psychoanalysis

The first known use of psychoanalysis was in 1906

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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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not being in agreement or harmony

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