Definition of masochism in English:

masochism

noun

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At the same time, Freudian psychoanalysis offers an understanding of the formations of sadism and masochism as complementary and vacillating.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unlike sadism, which depends upon action and immediate gratification, masochism savors suspense and distance.’
    • ‘These processes are contrasted with masochism as explanations of self-directed wit.’
    • ‘Yet her sexual masochism is oddly mixed with non-erotic desires for an omnipotent caretaker, infantile wishes that parallel his yearning for divine love.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But going back to topic… Can there be a sexual relations with sadism / masochism or domination/ submission without having psychological abuse?’
    • ‘There are different theories related to sexual masochism, many stemming from the psychoanalytic camp.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sadism and masochism, like fetishism, annex pleasure to established systems of desire.’
    • ‘Algolagnia is a psychiatric term covering sadism and masochism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His eyes widened as he read about sadism and masochism, bondage and domination.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yet she may have sadism / masochism fantasies, perhaps secret, perhaps acted out.’
    • ‘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.’
    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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They regard my delight in climbing hills as a form of masochism - or sadism if accompanying me.’
      • ‘There is a certain masochism involved in reading his novel.’
      • ‘There is nothing quite like following Oasis as an exercise in 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.’
      • ‘Will can never be satisfied; pain is basic to it; life is masochism.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation