- to intimidate or frighten psychologically, or make nervous (often followed by out): to psych out the competition.
- to prepare psychologically to be in the right frame of mind or to give one's best (often followed by up): to psych oneself up for an interview.
- to figure out psychologically; decipher (often followed by out): to psych out a problem.
Origin of psych1
- (tr, adverb) informal to get (oneself or another) into a state of psychological readiness for an action, performance, etc
Word Origin and History for psych up
as a noun, short for psychology in various senses (e.g. as an academic study, in student slang by 1895). As a verb, first attested 1917 as "to subject to psychoanalysis," short for psychoanalyze. From 1934 as "to outsmart" (also psych out); from 1963 as "to unnerve." However to psych (oneself) up is from 1972; to be psyched up is attested from 1968.
Idioms and Phrases with psych up
Excite emotionally, as in The chorus was really psyched up for performing in Symphony Hall. [Slang; c. 1970]