[ sahy-kol-uh-jee ]
/ saɪˈkɒl ə dʒi /

noun, plural psy·chol·o·gies.

the science of the mind or of mental states and processes.
the science of human and animal behavior.
the sum or characteristics of the mental states and processes of a person or class of persons, or of the mental states and processes involved in a field of activity: the psychology of a soldier; the psychology of politics.
mental ploys or strategy: He used psychology on his parents to get a larger allowance.

Nearby words

  1. psychological primary,
  2. psychological warfare,
  3. psychologism,
  4. psychologist,
  5. psychologize,
  6. psychomachia,
  7. psychomancy,
  8. psychometric,
  9. psychometrics,
  10. psychometry

Origin of psychology

From the New Latin word psȳchologia, dating back to 1675–85. See psycho-, -logy

Related formspre·psy·chol·o·gy, noun

Can be confusedpsychiatry psychology psychoanalysis psychotherapy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for pre-psychology


/ (saɪˈkɒlədʒɪ) /

noun plural -gies

the scientific study of all forms of human and animal behaviour, sometimes concerned with the methods through which behaviour can be modifiedSee also analytical psychology, clinical psychology, comparative psychology, educational psychology, experimental psychology
informal the mental make-up or structure of an individual that causes him or her to think or act in the way he or she does
Derived Formspsychologist, 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 pre-psychology



1650s, "study of the soul," from Modern Latin psychologia, probably coined mid-16c. in Germany by Melanchthon from Latinized form of Greek psykhe- "breath, spirit, soul" (see psyche) + logia "study of" (see -logy). Meaning "study of the mind" first recorded 1748, from Christian Wolff's "Psychologia empirica" (1732); main modern behavioral sense is from early 1890s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for pre-psychology


[ sī-kŏlə-jē ]


The science that deals with mental processes and behavior.
The emotional and behavioral characteristics of an individual, group, or activity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for pre-psychology


[ sī-kŏlə-jē ]

The scientific study of mental processes and behavior.
The behavioral and cognitive characteristics of a specific individual, group, activity, or circumstance.Clinical psychology ♦ is the application of psychological knowledge to the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for pre-psychology


The science dealing with mental phenomena and processes. Psychologists study emotions, perception, intelligence, consciousness, and the relationship between these phenomena and processes and the work of the glands and muscles. Psychologists are also interested in diseased or disordered mental states, and some psychologists provide therapy for individuals. In the United States, however, psychologists, unlike psychiatrists, are not medical doctors. (See psychiatry.)


The two main divisions of psychology are individual or personality psychology and social psychology; social psychology deals with the mental processes of groups.

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.