< /kəˈθɛk siz/. Psychoanalysis.

  1. the investment of emotional significance in an activity, object, or idea.
  2. the charge of psychic energy so invested.

noun plural -thexes (-ˈθɛksiːz)

  1. psychoanal concentration of psychic energy on a single goal

1922, from Latinized form of Greek kathexis “holding, retention,” from PIE root *segh- “to hold” (see scheme (n.)). Used by psychologists to render Freud’s (libido)besetzung.

n. pl. ca•thex•es (-thĕk′sēz)

  1. Concentration of emotional energy on an object or idea.

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