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conversion (kon-ver´zhun)

1. transmutation 2. An unconscious defense mechanism by which the anxiety which stems from an unconscious conflict is converted and expressed symbolically as a physical symptom; transformation of an emotion into a physical manifestation, as in c. hysteria. See conversion hysteria. 3. In virology, the acquisition by bacteria of a new property associated with presence of a prophage. See also lysogeny. [L. con-verto, pp. -versus, to turn around, to change]


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