Definition of penis envy in English:

penis envy

Pronunciation /ˈpēnis ˈenvē/ /ˈpinɪs ˈɛnvi/


  • Supposed envy of the male's possession of a penis, postulated by Freud to account for some aspects of female behavior (notably the castration complex) but controversial among modern theorists.

    ‘The female phallic stage is not simply and negatively arrested at the level of penis envy, as Freud thought; a daughter may be used just as well as a son by the mother for narcissistic completion.’
    • ‘It's not too difficult to detect themes about phallic power, penis envy, castration fears, and a miscellaneous collection of heterosexual and homosexual issues.’
    • ‘There is doubt about penis envy and castration anxieties being the major contributing factor to the development of perversion.’
    • ‘Now before we all start harping on about penis envy, let's keep in mind that Freud says every dream is the fulfillment of a disguised wish.’
    • ‘By shifting the blame we ended up with the theories of penis envy for women, and castration anxiety for men.’