Definition of masochism in US English:

masochism

noun

  • 1The tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from one's own pain or humiliation.

    • ‘Still, it's not easy to speak of masochism for long without invoking sadism, and vice versa.’
    • ‘So we are suffering both humiliation and masochism.’
    • ‘These processes are contrasted with masochism as explanations of self-directed wit.’
    • ‘Algolagnia is a psychiatric term covering sadism and masochism.’
    • ‘It organizes its mise en scène to compose a metaphor for this primal space in which sadism and masochism intersect and in which, by virtue of the social order, some private sexual fantasies are turned into a system.’
    • ‘But going back to topic… Can there be a sexual relations with sadism / masochism or domination/ submission without having psychological abuse?’
    • ‘Yet her sexual masochism is oddly mixed with non-erotic desires for an omnipotent caretaker, infantile wishes that parallel his yearning for divine love.’
    • ‘Or, to put it another way, it denies the possibility that masochism can exist outside of sexual fantasy, or that the real world can contain opportunities for erotic pleasure.’
    • ‘Though the pursuit of sexual ecstasy through pain is seen as masochism, as a perversion, Bataille argues that this is one example of liberation through surrender.’
    • ‘Unlike sadism, which depends upon action and immediate gratification, masochism savors suspense and distance.’
    • ‘Sadism and masochism, like fetishism, annex pleasure to established systems of desire.’
    • ‘Sadism and masochism might be taken as extreme manifestations of the roles of the sexes as encoded by society and (in the view of many) by biology.’
    • ‘Disease or degeneration could suppress, heighten, or pervert the sexual instinct, giving rise to frigidity, nymphomania, or perversions such as sadism, masochism, fetishism, or homosexuality.’
    • ‘Essentially, Robert and I are both dominants, but we're dominants who like to play with sadism / masochism in the context of our sexual relationship.’
    • ‘His eyes widened as he read about sadism and masochism, bondage and domination.’
    • ‘The effect of the emotional power of a film such as this one is that it dominates the thinking of the viewer, such that he is unable to entertain points of view other than the two choices of sadism and masochism.’
    • ‘At the same time, Freudian psychoanalysis offers an understanding of the formations of sadism and masochism as complementary and vacillating.’
    • ‘In order to trace these various relationships, I must begin by proposing a way of understanding masochism that deviates from the conventional view that its origins lie in sexuality.’
    • ‘There are different theories related to sexual masochism, many stemming from the psychoanalytic camp.’
    • ‘Yet she may have sadism / masochism fantasies, perhaps secret, perhaps acted out.’
    avarice, acquisitiveness, parsimony, parsimoniousness, penny-pinching, cheese-paring, thrift
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (in general use) the enjoyment of what appears to be painful or tiresome.
      ‘isn't there some masochism involved in taking on this kind of project?’
      • ‘There is a certain masochism involved in reading his novel.’
      • ‘They regard my delight in climbing hills as a form of masochism - or sadism if accompanying me.’
      • ‘There is nothing quite like following Oasis as an exercise in masochism.’
      • ‘Will can never be satisfied; pain is basic to it; life is masochism.’
      • ‘Supporting the modern multiplex is an exercise in commercial masochism.’
      • ‘Call it instinct, masochism, whatever - but most women want children, continue to accept the role of primary carer, and reap psychological and emotional sustenance from motherhood.’
      • ‘That ballet continues to enlist and attract thousands of young girls cannot be entirely due to false consciousness or masochism.’
      • ‘I always knew you had to be a bit of a sadist to cook - after all, you have to beat the eggs and whip the cream - but now cooking is an exercise in masochism as well.’

Origin

Late 19th century: named after Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1835–95), the Austrian novelist who described it, + -ism.

Pronunciation