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From the Swedish Norrmalmstorgssyndromet. Named after the robbery of Kreditbanken at the Norrmalmstorg square in Stockholm, Sweden in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28, 1973. Originally, this term was directly translated from Swedish Norrmalmstorgssyndromet as the Norrmalmstorg syndrome, but later Norrmalmstorg was replaced with Stockholm, a word far more commonly known outside Sweden.


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Stockholm syndrome (uncountable)

  1. A psychological condition in which a hostage emotionally bonds to his or her captor.
    • The Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in a hostage, in which the hostage exhibits loyalty to the hostage-taker, in spite of the danger (or at least risk) in which the hostage has been placed.... In the most famous case of the Stockholm Syndrome, Patty Hearst, the granddaughter of publishing baron William Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped by the leftist Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974 and robbed a San Francisco bank together with her captors, [1]
    • While the psychological condition in hostage situations became known as “Stockholm Syndrome” due to the publicity – the emotional “bonding” with captors was a familiar story in psychology. It had been recognized many years before and was found in studies of other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations such as: Abused Children; Battered/Abused Women; Prisoners of War; Cult Members; Incest Victims; Criminal Hostage Situations; Concentration Camp Prisoners; Cont /Intimidating Relationships [2]
    • 2001, Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl, page 259:
      You're suffering from what humans call Stockholm Syndrome: you have bonded with your captors.
    • 2006, Cape Times, 28 May
      Natascha Kampusch, the 18 year old Austrian woman who escaped from her kidnapper last week after eight years in captivity, [] is thought to be suffering from an extreme version of Stockholm syndrome, in which victims begin to associate and sympathise with their attackers.