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libido (lĭbēˈdō, –bīˈ–) [Lat.,=lust], psychoanalytic term used by Sigmund Freud to identify instinctive energy with the sex instinct. For Freud, libido is the generalized sexual energy of which conscious activity is the expression. C. G. Jung used the term synonymously with instinctive energy in general. Many psychiatrists now feel that Freud overemphasized the concept of libido as the determinant of personality development and did not adequately emphasize the results of socializing forces. The term drive is often used instead of libido but without the sexual implications of the latter. See psychoanalysis.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



one of the basic concepts of psychoanalysis, developed by S. Freud.

According to Freud, the libido is a primarily unconscious drive of a sexual character. Unlike the urge for self-preservation, the libido may be repressed or undergo complex transformation. Freud believed that the libido is localized in different zones of the body during the process of individual development, determining the phases of psychosexual development and the respective changes in the objects of attraction (from autoeroticism to attraction to external objects). Upon encountering an external obstacle, the libido may return to past stages of development, acquiring the form of pathological regression. At the same time, it may turn away from the original goals and find expression in the processes of creativity (sublimation).

In a polemic with Freud, C. G. Jung reexamined the concept of libido. Jung denied the libido an exclusively sexual character, considering it psychic energy generally. Understood in this way, the libido appears in Jung’s theory as a metaphysical principle of the psyche and a basic psychic reality. In Jung’s idealistic treatment, this is an autonomous, closed system, functioning on the basis of the principle of compensation.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Sexual desire.
The sum total of all instinctual forces; psychic energy or drive usually associated with the sexual instinct.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Psychoanal psychic energy emanating from the id
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus, the language in Across the River and into the Trees alternates between the registers of courtly love and carnal desire in a manner that has given critics reason to judge Renata as either a chaste maiden or a selfish, sex-starved vampiress.
The perky facade of "Better Stay Gone" masks a tug-of-war between common sense and carnal desire; "Cynically Yours" spoofs torch ballads with jaundiced expressions of devotion.
It is not just that gilbert confuses Platonic love, psychologically homoerotic as expounded in the Symposium and the Phaedrus, with the medieval concept of courtly love for an inaccessible woman--the distinction had already been blurred in the Renaiisance by Marsilio Ficino--but he sees Michelangelo's Platonic love as "an agonized defense against the temptations of women," noting "as a curious corollary" that "when speaking of a completely spiritual woman like Vittoria Colonna he quite naturally refers to her in the masculine gender." He warns against judging the writer's personality on the basis of a "single poem taken in isolation," and then proceeds to take at face value the artist's disclaimer, in a single poem, of carnal desire in his love for Tommaso de' Cavalieri.
This is an encouraging development, but I think we must all be on guard to assure that "Business After Hours" does not degenerate into a cesspool of animal lust and unfettered carnal desire. Certainly Little Rock deserves more than another "meat market."
Supporting performances are solid and Oldroyd spares his leading cast few blushes in scenes of wanton carnal desire.
State Sonnets is a compact book of brief poems crafted around the vessel of a road trip--from highway romance to lost regrets to carnal desire and surprising sights.
They're at their most animated--the camera is at its most lively--when people are thinking hard, when ideas are being batted around in the classroom." So is it any wonder that carnal desire gets mixed up in it all?
This requires the sexually inexperienced Eun-jin to undergo tutorials of a more explicit nature, unlocking a torrent of repressed carnal desire.
Also worthy of inquiry is the degree to which her perceived rejection by Chamberlain fed her growing disgust with carnal desire and her perception of it as sub-human.
But even beyond that, he declares the fervently held belief that in his final hour, the accumulated sum of his carnal desire will somehow ease his last moments of mortality.
Screenwriters Trevor De Silva and Kevin Hood use this true event as the starting point for a heart-warming comedy of manners, which propels the two princesses on journeys of self-discovery in a capital awash with carnal desire and danger.
Wherever MH is, his earthly and carnal desire toward women is there.