Definition of cathectic in US English:



  • Relating to cathexis.

    • ‘By October 1977 when the paintings were first exhibited, their cathectic energy had become exhausted - so much so that the presence of these extraordinary pictures was no longer regarded a necessity in Germany.’
    • ‘The scene describing the woman's encounter with the Latino boy suggests that their relationship has a cathectic dynamic.’
    • ‘Perhaps, dislocated as they are now from their original telos, the cycle could continue to release cathectic energies and be transformed into a nonspecific work of mourning.’
    • ‘Indeed, it requires a ‘great expense of time and cathectic energy’ during which ‘the existence of the lost object is psychically prolonged.’’
    • ‘Both neo-colonial and advanced capitalist/colonial states organize and reinforce a cathectic structure based in sexual difference, which they enforce through a variety of means, including legislation.’


1920s: from Greek kathektikos ‘capable of holding’.