noun, plural cathexes [kuh-thek-seez] . Psychoanalysis.
the investment of emotional significance in an activity, object, or idea.
the charge of psychic energy so invested.

1920–25; < Neo-Latin < Greek káthexis a keeping, equivalent to kathek- (variant stem of katéchein to keep, hold on to, equivalent to cat cat- + échein to have, hold) + -sis -sis, as translation of German Besetzung a taking possession of (Freud's term)

cathectic [kuh-thek-tik] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cathectic (kəˈθɛktɪk)
of or relating to cathexis

cathexis (kəˈθɛksɪs)
n , pl -thexes
psychoanal concentration of psychic energy on a single goal
[C20: from New Latin, from Greek kathexis, from katekhein to hold fast, intended to render German Besetzung a taking possession of]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1922, from Gk. kathexis "holding, retention." Used by psychologists to render Freud's libidobesetzung.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

cathectic ca·thec·tic (kə-thěk'tĭk)
Of or relating to cathexis.

cathexis ca·thex·is (kə-thěk'sĭs)
n. pl. ca·thex·es (-thěk'sēz)
Concentration of emotional energy on an object or idea.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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