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English noun: defense mechanism

1. defense mechanism (process) (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires


Synonymsdefence, defence mechanism, defence reaction, defense, defense reaction


Broader (hypernym)process, psychoanalytic process, unconscious process


Narrower (hyponym)compensation, conversion, denial, displacement, idealisation, idealization, intellectualisation, intellectualization, isolation, projection, rationalisation, rationalization, reaction formation, regression, repression


Domain categorypsychiatry, psychological medicine, psychopathology









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