decathect (v)

The word of the day for Dictionary.com, January 16, 2018.

  1. to withdraw one’s feelings of attachment from (a person, idea, or object), as in
    anticipation of a future loss: He decathected from her in order to cope with her
    impending death
    .

    Related to imposter syndrome.

Decathect is an extremely rare word in English, used only in Freudian psychology. It is
formed from the common prefix de-, signifying privation or removal, and the very rare
verb cathect “to invest emotional energy.” Cathectis a derivative of the adjective cathectic (from Greek kathektikόs “capable of holding or retaining”), from the noun káthexis
“holding, possession,retention.” The English noun cathexis is an arcane translation or
partial translation of Sigmund Freud’s Besetzung, a common, ordinary word in German meaning “(military) occupation, cast (of a play),” from the verb besetzen “to
occupy, stock, fill.” Decathect entered English in the 20th century.

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