psych-out

[sahyk-out]

Origin of psych-out

First recorded in 1960–65; noun use of verb phrase psych out

psych

1

or psyche

[sahyk]
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.

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-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for psych-out

psych

psyche

verb
  1. (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

Word Origin and History for psych-out

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper