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  1. of or relating to a substance having a profound or significant effect on mental processes: a psychoactive drug.

Origin of psychoactive

First recorded in 1960–65; psycho- + active Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of psychoactive

British Dictionary definitions for psychoactive


  1. capable of affecting mental activitya psychoactive drug
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 psychoactive

also psycho-active, 1959, from psycho- + active.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

psychoactive in Medicine


  1. Affecting the mind or mental processes. Used of a drug.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.