Stockholm syndrome

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Calque of Swedish Norrmalmstorgssyndromet. Named after the robbery of Kreditbanken at the Norrmalmstorg square in Stockholm, Sweden in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28, 1973. Originally, this term was directly translated from Swedish Norrmalmstorgssyndromet as the Norrmalmstorg syndrome, but later Norrmalmstorg was replaced with Stockholm, a word far more commonly known outside Sweden.


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Stockholm syndrome (uncountable)

  1. A psychological condition in which a hostage emotionally bonds to his or her captor.
    • 2001, Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl, page 259:
      You're suffering from what humans call Stockholm Syndrome: you have bonded with your captors.
    • 2006, Cape Times, 28 May
      Natascha Kampusch, the 18 year old Austrian woman who escaped from her kidnapper last week after eight years in captivity, [] is thought to be suffering from an extreme version of Stockholm syndrome, in which victims begin to associate and sympathise with their attackers.