Meaning of “word association” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"word association" in British English

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word associationnoun [ U ]

uk /ˈwɜːd ə.səʊ.siˌeɪ.ʃən/ us /ˈwɝːd ə.soʊ.siˌeɪ.ʃən/

a method sometimes used in psychoanalysis in which the person being treated says the first word they think of when a particular word is said, which may help to discover how parts of the mind work

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