- of or noting a mental state characterized by a profound sense of intensified sensory perception, sometimes accompanied by severe perceptual distortion and hallucinations and by extreme feelings of either euphoria or despair.
- of, relating to, or noting any of various drugs producing this state, as LSD, mescaline, or psilocybin.
- resembling, characteristic of, or reproducing images, sounds, or the like, experienced while in such a state: psychedelic painting.
- a psychedelic drug.
- a person who uses such a substance.
Origin of psychedelic
- relating to or denoting new or altered perceptions or sensory experiences, as through the use of hallucinogenic drugs
- denoting any of the drugs, esp LSD, that produce these effects
- informal (of painting, fabric design, etc) having the vivid colours and complex patterns popularly associated with the visual effects of psychedelic states
Word Origin and History for psychedelically
occasionally psychodelic, 1956, of drugs, suggested by British-born Canadian psychiatrist Humphry Osmond (1917-2004) in a letter to Aldous Huxley and used by Osmond in a scientific paper published the next year; from Greek psykhe- "mind" (see psyche) + deloun "make visible, reveal," from delos "visible, clear," from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine" (see diurnal). In popular use from 1965 with reference to anything producing effects similar to that of a psychedelic drug or enhancing the effects of such a drug. As a noun from 1956.
- Of, characterized by, or generating hallucinations, distortions of perception, altered states of awareness, and occasionally states resembling psychosis.
- A drug, such as LSD or mescaline, that produces such effects.