Meaning of “free association” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"free association" in British English

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free associationnoun [ U ]

uk /ˌfriː ə.səʊ.siˈeɪ.ʃən/ us /ˌfriː ə.soʊ.siˈeɪ.ʃən/

a method of trying to see how the human mind works, in which a person says the first word that they think of after hearing a word that is spoken to them

(Definition of “free association” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)