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psych

1

or psyche

[ sahyk ]
/ saɪk /
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verb (used with object), psyched, psych·ing.Informal.
to intimidate or frighten psychologically, or make nervous (often followed by out): to psych out the competition.
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.
to figure out psychologically; decipher (often followed by out): to psych out a problem.
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On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of psych

1
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-

Other definitions for psych (2 of 4)

psych2
[ sahyk ]
/ saɪk /

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

Origin of psych

2
First recorded in 1890–95; by shortening

Other definitions for psych (3 of 4)

psych-

variant of psycho- before some vowels: psychasthenia.

Other definitions for psych (4 of 4)

psych.

abbreviation
psychological.
psychologist.
psychology.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

WORDS THAT USE PSYCH-

What does psych- mean?

Psych– is a combining form used like a prefix meaning either “psyche” or “psychological.” Psyche denotes “the human soul, spirit, or mind,” while psychological is a related yet distinct term that means “pertaining to psychology, the science of the mind or of mental states.” Psych– is often used in medical and technical terms, especially in psychology.

Psych– comes from Greek psȳchḗ, meaning “breath, spirit, soul, mind.” For more on the meaning of this word in Ancient Greek mythology, read our entry for psyche. The word psyche is at the root of the term psychedelic, which refers to the effect of hallucinogenic drugs.

What are variants of psych-?

Psych– is a variant of psycho, which loses its –o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article about psycho-.

Examples of psych-

One example of a term you may be familiar with that features the form psych– is psychiatry, “the practice or science of diagnosing and treating mental disorders.”

The psych– part of the word means “mind,” and –iatry means “healing” or “medical practice,” from Greek iātreía. Psychiatry literally means “mind healing” or “the practice of healing the psyche.”

What are some words that use the combining form psych-?

What are some other forms that psych– may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form algia means “pain.” With this in mind, what is the medical condition psychalgia?

How to use psych in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for psych

psych

psyche

/ (saɪk) /

verb
(tr) informal to psychoanalyseSee also psych out, psych up

Word Origin for psych

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

Medical definitions for psych

psych-

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