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See more synonyms for parapsychology on Thesaurus.com
  1. the branch of psychology that deals with the investigation of purportedly psychic phenomena, as clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, telepathy, and the like.
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Origin of parapsychology

First recorded in 1925–30; para-1 + psychology
Related formspar·a·psy·cho·log·i·cal, adjectivepar·a·psy·chol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for parapsychology

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • You are then, ah, presenting yourself as an authority on parapsychology, perhaps?

    The Best Made Plans

    Everett B. Cole

  • If I had asked you to attend an experiment in parapsychology, you'd have agreed at once.

    Sense from Thought Divide

    Mark Irvin Clifton

  • He described the interview with the Psionics and Parapsychology people.

    The Edge of the Knife

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Various tags are used to name them under the heading of parapsychology, magic, and non-verbal communication.

  • The Psionics and Parapsychology people weren't the only delegation to reach Blanley that day.

    The Edge of the Knife

    Henry Beam Piper

British Dictionary definitions for parapsychology


  1. the study of mental phenomena, such as telepathy, which are beyond the scope of normal physical explanation
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Derived Formsparapsychological (ˌpærəsaɪkəˈlɒʒɪkəl), adjectiveparapsychologist, noun
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 parapsychology


1924, from para- (1) "beside" + psychology.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

parapsychology in Medicine


  1. The study of extrasensory perception, such as telepathy, psychokinesis, and clairvoyance.
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Related formspar′a•psy′cho•logi•cal (-sī′kə-lŏjĭ-kəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

parapsychology in Culture



The study of extrasensory perception (ESP), communications with the dead, telekinesis (using mental energy to cause distant objects to move), and other mental phenomena that have not been explained or accepted by scientists. (See psychic research.)

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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.