Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[sahy-koh-sis] /saɪˈkoʊ sɪs/
noun, plural psychoses
[-seez] /-siz/ (Show IPA).
a mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that indicate impaired contact with reality.
any severe form of mental disorder, as schizophrenia or paranoia.
Origin of psychosis
First recorded in 1840-50, psychosis is from the Late Greek word psȳ́chōsis animation, principle of life. See psych-, -osis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for psychoses
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We all have tendencies toward one or more types of psychoses.

    The Hills of Home Alfred Coppel
  • Neuroses and psychoses are peculiarly frequent in childhood and youth.

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
  • These other moods, although less frequent, are just as characteristic of the psychoses in this group.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • The histories of the two psychoses differentiate the two reactions which may be indistinguishable at one interview.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • Other psychoses superficially resembling stupor are the perplexity and absorbed manic (manic stupor) states.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • It is commonest during the onset, as all but five of these patients spoke of it during the incubation of their psychoses.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • Let us recall also the mental troubles, the psychoses designated by the name hebephrenia.

  • They christened these new disorders by the name of neuroses, reserving the name of psychoses for the mental disorders of lunatics.

  • If such is the case, what becomes of the classical distinction between neuroses and psychoses?

British Dictionary definitions for psychoses


noun (pl) -choses (-ˈkəʊsiːz)
any form of severe mental disorder in which the individual's contact with reality becomes highly distorted Compare neurosis
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, from psycho- + -osis
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for psychoses



1847, "mental derangement," Modern Latin, from Greek psykhe- "mind" (see psyche) + -osis "abnormal condition." Greek psykhosis meant "a giving of life; animation; principle of life."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
psychoses in Medicine

psychosis psy·cho·sis (sī-kō'sĭs)
n. pl. psy·cho·ses (-sēz)
A severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration of normal social functioning.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
psychoses in Science
Plural psychoses (sī-kō'sēz)
A mental state caused by psychiatric or organic illness, characterized by a loss of contact with reality and an inability to think rationally. A psychotic person often behaves inappropriately and is incapable of normal social functioning.

psychotic adjective (sī-kŏt'ĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
psychoses in Culture
psychosis [(seye-koh-sis)]

A severe mental disorder, more serious than neurosis, characterized by disorganized thought processes, disorientation in time and space, hallucinations, and delusions. Paranoia, manic depression, megalomania, and schizophrenia are all psychoses. One who suffers from psychosis is psychotic.

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

Word of the Day

Nearby words for psychoses

Difficulty index for psychosis

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for psychoses

Scrabble Words With Friends