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psychopath

[sahy-kuh-path]
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noun
  1. a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.
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Compare sociopath.

Origin of psychopath

First recorded in 1880–85; psycho- + -path
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

psychomaniacsociopathlunaticpsychoticnutcaseschizoid

Examples from the Web for psychopath

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • For an accusation of physical coercion and threat of rape would be far less convincing from a psychopath.


British Dictionary definitions for psychopath

psychopath

noun
  1. a person afflicted with a personality disorder characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure to feel guilt for such actsAlso called: sociopath
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Derived Formspsychopathic, adjectivepsychopathically, 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 psychopath

n.

1885, in the criminal psychology sense, a back-formation from psychopathic.

The Daily Telegraph had, the other day, a long article commenting on a Russian woman who had murdered a little girl. A Dr. Balinsky prevailed upon the jury to give a verdict of acquittal, because she was a "psychopath." The Daily Telegraph regards this term as a new coinage, but it has been long known amongst Spiritualists, yet in another sense. ["The Medium and Daybreak," Jan. 16, 1885]

The case alluded to, and the means of acquittal, were briefly notorious in England and brought the word into currency in the modern sense.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

psychopath in Medicine

psychopath

(sīkə-păth′)
n.
  1. A person with an antisocial personality disorder, especially one manifested in perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

psychopath in Culture

psychopath

[(seye-kuh-path)]

A mentally unbalanced person who is inclined toward antisocial and criminal behavior. (Compare sociopath.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.