1. an act or instance of elaborating.
  2. the state of being elaborated; elaborateness.
  3. something that is elaborated.
  4. Psychiatry. an unconscious process of expanding and embellishing a detail, especially while recalling and describing a representation in a dream so that latent content of the dream is brought into a logical and comprehensible order.

1570s, in a physiological sense relating to tissue development, from Late Latin elaborationem (nominative elaboratio), noun of action from past participle stem of elaborare “work out, produce by labor,” from ex- “out” (see ex-) + laborare “to labor” (see labor (v.)).


  1. The process of working out in detail by labor and study.
  2. The mental process occurring partly during dreaming and partly during the recalling or telling of a dream, by means of which the latent content of the dream is brought into increasingly more coherent and logical order, resulting in the manifest content of the dream.

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