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[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.
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Examples from the Web for psychosis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In some exceptional cases a genuine neurosis or psychosis may develop.


    William J. Robinson
  • If you have a psychosis, you behave in response to delusions or hallucinations.

  • She was seventy-eight this year, clouded by senility along with the psychosis.

  • Then, at the engagement dinner of the brother, the psychosis broke out.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • There is, further, the history of a delusion of death during the onset of the psychosis.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
British Dictionary definitions for psychosis


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
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Word Origin and History for psychosis

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
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psychosis 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.
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psychosis 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.
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psychosis 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.
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