inferiority complex

inferiority complex n an acute sense of personal inferiority resulting either in timidity or through overcompensation in exaggerated aggressiveness

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1. an unconscious and extreme exaggeration of feelings of insignificance or inferiority, which is shown by behaviour that is defensive or compensatory (such as aggression).
2. (in psychoanalysis) a complex said to result from the conflict between Oedipal wishes (see Oedipus complex) and the reality of the child's lack of power. This gives rise to repressed feelings of personal inferiority.

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unconscious feelings of inadequacy, producing timidity or, as a compensation, exaggerated aggressiveness and expression of superiority; based on Alfred Adler's concept that everyone is born with a feeling of inferiority stemming from real or imagined physical or psychological deficiency, with the manner in which the inferiority is handled determining behavior.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • inferiority complex — n. 1. Psychol. a neurotic condition resulting from various feelings of inferiority, such as derive from real or imagined physical or social inadequacy, and often manifested through overcompensation in excessive aggressiveness, a domineering… …   English World dictionary

  • inferiority complex — inferiority complexes N COUNT Someone who has an inferiority complex feels that they are of less worth or importance than other people …   English dictionary

  • Inferiority complex — An inferiority complex, in the fields of psychology and psychoanalysis, is a feeling that one is inferior to others in some way. Such feelings can arise from an imagined or actual inferiority in the afflicted person. It is often subconscious, and …   Wikipedia

  • inferiority complex — noun a sense of personal inferiority arising from conflict between the desire to be noticed and the fear of being humiliated (Freq. 1) • Hypernyms: ↑complex * * * noun, pl ⋯ plexes [count] : a belief that you are less worthy or important than… …   Useful english dictionary

  • inferiority complex — 1. Psychiatry. intense feeling of inferiority, producing a personality characterized either by extreme reticence or, as a result of overcompensation, by extreme aggressiveness. 2. lack of self esteem; feeling of inadequacy; lack of self… …   Universalium

  • inferiority complex — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms inferiority complex : singular inferiority complex plural inferiority complexes a strong feeling that you are not as good, important, or intelligent as other people …   English dictionary

  • inferiority complex — 1) an unconscious and extreme exaggeration of feelings of insignificance or inferiority, which is shown by behaviour that is defensive or compensatory (such as aggression). 2) (in psychoanalysis) a complex said to result from the conflict between …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • inferiority complex — /ɪnfɪəriˈɒrəti ˌkɒmplɛks / (say infearree oruhtee .kompleks) noun 1. Psychiatry a complex arising from intense feelings of inferiority, and resulting in either extreme reticence or aggressiveness due to overcompensation. 2. a feeling of… …   Australian English dictionary

  • inferiority complex — noun Date: 1922 1. an acute sense of personal inferiority often resulting either in timidity or through overcompensation in exaggerated aggressiveness 2. a collective sense of cultural, regional, or national inferiority …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • inferiority complex — noun a sense of inferiority; the feeling that one is inferior to others in certain aspects …   Wiktionary

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