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In Freudian psychology, a condensation (German: Verdichtung) is when a single idea (an image, memory, or thought) or dream object stands for several associations and ideas; thus "dreams are brief, meagre and laconic in comparison with the range and wealth of the dream-thoughts." The charges are displaced from the originating ideas to the receiving one, where they merge and "condense" together.

In the 1950s the concept was used by linguist Roman Jakobson in his influential lecture on metaphor and metonymy. Jakobson's lecture led Jacques Lacan to say that the unconscious is structured like a language.

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