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Ancient Greek κάθεξις (kathexis, holding, retention). Entered English language as a translation for the common everyday German word Besetzung, which in this context means "occupation" in the sense of a position or something being occupied or filled, and not a military occupation of a place or the filling of job positions (although it can also mean either of these in other contexts). In English translations, a Greek word was used to be more scientific.


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cathexis (plural cathexes)

  1. (psychoanalysis) the concentration of libido or emotional energy on a single object or idea

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