emotional withdrawal in the face of imminent loss

marthaeliza

New Member
English - America
This is my first post; I ask your pardon in advance if I am doing this incorrectly.

There is a word I recently read, the definition of which was "emotional withdrawal in the face of imminent loss." Now I cannot remember the word, nor where I found it. This is making me a little crazy, and I am spending way too much time going down internet rabbit holes trying to find it. Can you help?
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Welcome to the forums, marthaeliza:)

    Could you give us some more context, including the complete sentence in which you might want to use this word?
     

    marthaeliza

    New Member
    English - America
    I realized I couldn't answer your very reasonable question. Then it occurred to me to do a search in my browser history and I found it!

    The word is "decathect" - to withdraw one's feeling of attachment from (a person, object, or idea) as in anticipation of a future loss. He decathected from her to cope with her impending death.

    It is such a poignant word, rich with the complexities of the human condition. It isn't a pretty-sounding or -looking word, though. I think it should mean a sinister ten-sided disease vector.

    The definition was provided by dictionary dot com. As a new member, I cannot insert links into my posts. Thanks for your welcome!
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Well, you learn something new every day.
    I wonder if someone with access to the OED could look it up and tell us more about this interesting word!
     
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