Definition of Oedipus complex in English:

Oedipus complex


  • (in Freudian theory) the complex of emotions aroused in a young child, typically around the age of four, by an unconscious sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex and wish to exclude the parent of the same sex. (The term was originally applied to boys, the equivalent in girls being called the Electra complex.).

    • ‘Jung also argued that the Oedipus complex was not the universal phenomenon that Freud declared it to be.’
    • ‘The Oedipus complex is the psychoanalytic term everyone knows, and the ideas behind it were first mooted in 1899's The Interpretation of Dreams.’
    • ‘This was to become the personal (though by no means exclusive) basis for his theory of the Oedipus complex.’
    • ‘Winch attempted to relate the extent of resolution of the Oedipus complex to progress in people's courtship behavior.’
    • ‘Today nearly all of Freud's concepts - transference, countertransference, repression, the Oedipus complex - are under scrutiny.’


Early 20th century: by association with Oedipus.


Oedipus complex