• synonyms


or psyche

See more synonyms for psych on Thesaurus.com
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.
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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-


noun Informal.
  1. psychology, especially as a course or field of study: She took two semesters of psych in college.
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Origin of psych2

First recorded in 1890–95; by shortening


  1. variant of psycho- before some vowels: psychasthenia.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for psych

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He was one of these psych guys that thinks if you say it's so, it makes it so.

    The Hated

    Frederik Pohl

  • Maybe it was that—but I was as confused as a mouse in a psych maze.


    Jim Wannamaker

  • Would you mind if I spent an hour in Psych for reorientation?

    Exploiter's End

    James Causey

  • I felt guilty over not going to Psych, but there just wasn't the time.

    Exploiter's End

    James Causey

  • Bradshaw's psych check certainly hadn't hinted at any instability.

British Dictionary definitions for psych



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

psych in Medicine


  1. Variant ofpsycho-