word association

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WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
word associa′tion, 
  • Psychologystimulation of an associative pattern by a word.

  • Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    word association n
    1. an early method of psychoanalysis in which the patient thinks of the first word that comes into consciousness on hearing a given word. In this way it was claimed that aspects of the unconscious could be revealed before defence mechanisms intervene

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