View synonyms for psych-out


or psych·out

[ sahyk-out ]


  1. an act or instance of seeking to intimidate, make nervous, mislead, etc., in order to gain an advantage:

    Trash talk and psych-outs are common along the starting line of a horse race.

  2. an intense, uncontrolled emotional reaction, or something that causes such a reaction:

    The song is an eight-minute psych-out that exudes passion and never loses its sense of power pop.


  1. involving or making use of intimidation, manipulation, etc., to gain an advantage over someone or get them to do something:

    He says hypnosis is just a psych-out method to get you to convince yourself that you don't need to smoke.

verb phrase

  1. psych out [sahyk , out],
    1. to intimidate, make nervous, mislead, etc., in order to gain an advantage over:

      You can bluff, chat, and try to psych out the other players in online poker just like you can in person.

    2. to have or cause to have an intense and uncontrolled emotional reaction; freak out:

      I overhear too many parents psych out their kids with outdated information about getting a tooth filled.

    3. to figure out, especially in a way that involves psychology:

      I won't say I think like a cat, but I can kind of psych out how a cat would behave in a certain situation.

psych out


  1. to guess correctly the intentions of (another); outguess
  2. to analyse or solve (a problem, etc) psychologically
  3. to intimidate or frighten
  4. intr, adverb to lose control psychologically; break down

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Word History and Origins

Origin of psych-out1

First recorded in 1955–60; noun use of verb phrase psych out


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