trans·​fer·​ence | \tran(t)s-ˈfər-ən(t)s, 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 \ adjective

Examples of transference in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the face of these dark facts, who can avoid pondering some sort of grim transference of inner torment across generations? Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018 Yet ambiguous claims involving spirituality and a sort of interpersonal energy transference are unsupported, and there’s an underlying implication that doubters are just spoilsports. Ken Jaworowski, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Doctor From India’ Pushes Nontraditional Medicine," 31 May 2018 Another consideration is that perhaps the common language of idea transference that makes these memes work so well took time to evolve across platforms. Aja Romano, Vox, "“Is this a meme?”: the confused anime guy and his butterfly, explained," 15 May 2018 This reaction, known as transference, can help the patient work through problems, as long as therapy focuses on what those feelings mean for the patient, and the therapist cordons off his own needs and private life. Felice J. Freyer,, "She accused her psychologist of sexual misconduct. The board found her credible, but he still has a license to practice.," 4 June 2018 Tai Chi is a martial art that emphasizes the weight transference to improve balance and body awareness. Lake County News-Sun, "Calendar: Reduce stress by coloring in North Chicago," 21 May 2018 And Ogunbowale, the first college athlete on the show, is a master class in transference. Sally Jenkins,, "As Arike Ogunbowale dances with gusto, the NCAA sidesteps with cowardice," 2 May 2018 There was a suggestion that a sort of transference had occurred, a blurring of the lines between the real person and the fake, a sense that Artur Samarin actually was Asher Potts. Daniel Riley, GQ, "The Great High School Impostor," 1 May 2018 So people are totally complicit in this transference of data. Christopher Shea, Vox, "Is a social network that doesn’t share user data possible? We asked someone who’s trying.," 27 Mar. 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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The first known use of transference was in 1681

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More Definitions for transference



English Language Learners Definition of transference

: 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, ˈtran(t)s-(ˌ) \

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- \

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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playful or foolish behavior

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