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n. pl. ca·thex·es (-thĕk′sēz)
Concentration of emotional energy on an object or idea.

[Greek kathexis, holding, retention, from katekhein, to hold fast : kat-, kata-, intensive pref.; see cata- + ekhein, to hold; see segh- in Indo-European roots.]


n, pl -thexes (-ˈθɛksiːz)
(Psychoanalysis) psychoanal concentration of psychic energy on a single goal
[C20: from New Latin, from Greek kathexis, from katekhein to hold fast, intended to render German Besetzung a taking possession of]


(kəˈθɛk sɪs)

n., pl. -thex•es (-ˈθɛk siz)
1. the investment of emotional significance in an activity, object, or idea.
2. the charge of psychic energy so invested.
[1920–25; < Greek káthexis retention, derivative (with -sis -sis) of katéchein to keep, hold on to =cat- cat- + échein to have, hold; translation of German Besetzung (Freud)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cathexis - (psychoanalysis) the libidinal energy invested in some idea or person or object; "Freud thought of cathexis as a psychic analog of an electrical charge"
depth psychology, psychoanalysis, analysis - a set of techniques for exploring underlying motives and a method of treating various mental disorders; based on the theories of Sigmund Freud; "his physician recommended psychoanalysis"
libidinal energy - (psychoanalysis) psychic energy produced by the libido
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