noun (used with a singular verb)
  1. Psychology. any clinical approach to personality, as Freud's, that sees personality as the result of a dynamic interplay of conscious and unconscious factors.
  2. the aggregate of motivational forces, both conscious and unconscious, that determine human behavior and attitudes.

Origin of psychodynamics

First recorded in 1870–75; psycho- + dynamics
Also called dynamics.
Related formspsy·cho·dy·nam·ic, adjectivepsy·cho·dy·nam·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for psychodynamic

Contemporary Examples of psychodynamic

  • Casey Schwartz is a graduate of Brown University and has a master's in psychodynamic neuroscience from University College London.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Can This Gadget Cure Depression?

    Casey Schwartz

    November 30, 2010

  • But many other psychodynamic explanations have little or no evidence to back them up.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Female Sex-Pain Mystery

    Elizabeth Svoboda

    March 27, 2010

  • Such was the psychodynamic that brought down Hillary Clinton.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Cool Hand Barack

    Brad Gooch

    November 5, 2008

British Dictionary definitions for psychodynamic


  1. (functioning as singular) psychol the study of interacting motives and emotions
Derived Formspsychodynamic, adjectivepsychodynamically, adverb
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 psychodynamic

also psycho-dynamic, 1856, from psycho- + dynamic (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

psychodynamic in Medicine


[sī′kō-dī-nămĭks, -dĭ-]
  1. The interaction of various conscious and unconscious mental or emotional processes, especially as they influence personality, behavior, and attitudes.
  2. The study of personality and behavior in terms of such processes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.