trans·​fer·​ence | \ tran(t)s-ˈfər-ən(t)s How to pronounce transference (audio) , ˈtran(t)s-(ˌ)fər- \

Definition of transference

1 : an act, process, or instance of transferring : conveyance, transfer
2 : the redirection of feelings and desires and especially of those unconsciously retained from childhood toward a new object (such as a psychoanalyst conducting therapy)

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Other Words from transference

transferential \ ˌtran(t)s-​fə-​ˈren(t)-​shəl How to pronounce transferential (audio) \ adjective

Examples of transference in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In relationships, transference prevents us from connecting with people in a meaningful way. Lori Gottlieb, The Atlantic, "Dear Therapist: The Pandemic Has Changed My Relationship With My Therapist," 4 May 2020 Finally, the researchers tested various forms of transference learning. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Neural implants plus AI turn sentence-length thoughts to text," 30 Mar. 2020 Anyway, the phenomenon is not a transformation but a transference. Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, Harper's magazine, "Sex and Sensibility," 28 Oct. 2019 Plainly, Congress has similar ministerial acts of transference that must occur in order for legislation to pass. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "If Impeachment Articles Are Not Delivered, Did Impeachment Happen?," 19 Dec. 2019 Not all innovative ideas may become a reality, and for those that do, their development and transference from space to Earth hardly happen overnight. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Can Spaceflight Save the Planet?," 6 Sep. 2019 The domestication of animals in the Middle East and Europe allowed for the transference of diseases to humans. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "How Mosquitos Helped Shape the Course of Human History," 5 Aug. 2019 What ensues is a sort of triple transference: as if Felipe, Iquela and Claudia could heal their old wounds, could purge the trauma in their pasts by bringing Paloma’s mother to rest. Sean Mccoy, Los Angeles Times, "Review: An authoritarian leader’s shadow looms over a weary country in ‘The Remainder’," 18 July 2019 Other than that, Dobs says that the rate of transference is pretty low. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "This New Topical Gel Birth Control For Men Could Change Everything," 30 Nov. 2018

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

1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for transference

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The first known use of transference was in 1681

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Last Updated

11 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for transference


How to pronounce transference (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of transference

technical : the act of moving something from one place to another
psychology : a process by which the feelings that you had for someone (such as a parent) when you were a child become directed to someone else (such as a psychoanalyst)


trans·​fer·​ence | \ tran(t)s-ˈfər-ən(t)s How to pronounce transference (audio) , ˈtran(t)s-(ˌ) How to pronounce transference (audio) \

Medical Definition of transference

: the redirection of feelings and desires and especially of those unconsciously retained from childhood toward a new object (as a psychoanalyst conducting therapy)


trans·​fer·​ence | \ trans-ˈfər-əns, ˈtrans-ˌfər- How to pronounce transference (audio) \

Legal Definition of transference

: an act, process, or instance of transferring

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Spanish Central: Translation of transference

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

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