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 a 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.’
    • ‘This was to become the personal (though by no means exclusive) basis for his theory of the Oedipus complex.’
    • ‘The Oedipus complex is the psychoanalytic term everyone knows, and the ideas behind it were first mooted in 1899's The Interpretation of Dreams.’
    • ‘Today nearly all of Freud's concepts - transference, countertransference, repression, the Oedipus complex - are under scrutiny.’
    • ‘Winch attempted to relate the extent of resolution of the Oedipus complex to progress in people's courtship behavior.’


Early 20th century: by association with Oedipus.


Oedipus complex

/ˈedəpəs ˌkämpleks/