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psyche

[sahyk]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), psyched, psych·ing.
  1. psych1.

Psyche

[sahy-kee]
noun
  1. Classical Mythology. a personification of the soul, which in the form of a beautiful girl was loved by Eros.
  2. (lowercase) the human soul, spirit, or mind.
  3. (lowercase) Psychology, Psychoanalysis. the mental or psychological structure of a person, especially as a motive force.
  4. Neoplatonism. the second emanation of the One, regarded as a universal consciousness and as the animating principle of the world.
  5. a female given name.

Origin of Psyche

1650–60 for def 2; < Latin psȳchē < Greek psȳchḗ literally, breath, derivative of psȳ́chein to breathe, blow, hence, live (see psycho-)

psych1

or psyche

[sahyk]
verb (used with object) Informal.
  1. to intimidate or frighten psychologically, or make nervous (often followed by out): to psych out the competition.
  2. 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.
  3. to figure out psychologically; decipher (often followed by out): to psych out a problem.

Origin of psych1

1915–20 in earlier sense “to subject to psychoanalysis”; originally a shortening of psychoanalyze; in later use (especially indefs 1, 2) perhaps independent use of psych-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for psyche

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Of course this isn't all mine; it includes ma's and Psyche's.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The Bineses, with the exception of Psyche, were at breakfast a week later.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "And you know we shall be in mourning," said Psyche to her brother.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "And of course we must go to the Episcopal church there," said Psyche.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Psyche wondered what new misfortune could be in store for her.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew

    Josephine Preston Peabody


British Dictionary definitions for psyche

psyche

noun
  1. the human mind or soul

Word Origin

C17: from Latin, from Greek psukhē breath, soul; related to Greek psukhein to breathe

Psyche

noun
  1. Greek myth a beautiful girl loved by Eros (Cupid), who became the personification of the soul

psych

psyche

verb
  1. (tr) informal to psychoanalyseSee also psych out, psych up

Word Origin

C20: shortened from psychoanalyse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for psyche

n.

1640s, "animating spirit," from Latin psyche, from Greek psykhe "the soul, mind, spirit; breath; life, one's life, the invisible animating principle or entity which occupies and directs the physical body; understanding" (personified as Psykhe, the beloved of Eros), akin to psykhein "to blow, cool," from PIE root *bhes- "to blow, to breathe" (cf. Sanskrit bhas-), "Probably imitative" [Watkins].

Also in ancient Greek, "departed soul, spirit, ghost," and often represented symbolically as a butterfly or moth. The word had extensive sense development in Platonic philosophy and Jewish-influenced theological writing of St. Paul (cf. spirit (n.)). Meaning "human soul" is from 1650s. In English, psychological sense "mind," is attested by 1910.

psych

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

psyche in Medicine

psyche

([object Object])
n.
  1. The mind functioning as the center of thought, emotion, and behavior and consciously or unconsciously mediating the body's responses to the social and physical environment.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

psyche in Culture

Psyche

[(seye-kee)]

In Roman mythology, a beautiful girl who was visited each night in the dark by Cupid, who told her she must not try to see him. When she did try, while he was asleep, she accidentally dropped oil from her lamp on him, and he awoke and fled. After she had performed many harsh tasks set by Cupid's mother, Venus, Jupiter made her immortal, and she and Cupid were married. Her name is Greek for both “soul” and “butterfly.”

psyche

[(seye-kee)]

The mind, soul, or spirit, as opposed to the body. In psychology, the psyche is the center of thought, feeling, and motivation, consciously and unconsciously directing the body's reactions to its social and physical environment.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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