Psychiatry. a person afflicted with psychosis.
(loosely) someone who is mentally unstable: I always cross the street when I have to go past that homeless shelter; it's full of psychotics.

someone who exhibits extreme emotion or behavior: My brother turns into a complete psychotic whenever his team loses.

Origin of psychotic

First recorded in 1885–85; psych(osis) + -otic
Related formspsy·chot·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·psy·chot·ic, adjectivesem·i·psy·chot·ic, adjectiveun·psy·chot·ic, adjective
Can be confusedneurotic psychotic schizoid schizophrenic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for psychotic

Contemporary Examples of psychotic

Historical Examples of psychotic

  • He merely mentioned that Andray Dunnan was psychotic and let it go at that.

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Yet they were not psychotic and hardly more than mildly neurotic.

    Disturbing Sun

    Robert Shirley Richardson

  • And then again, a psychotic or a professional gunsel may not register at all.

    The Circuit Riders

    R. C. FitzPatrick

  • If you are psychotic, your behavior may hurt others or yourself.

  • The eyes opened as a hand shook the psychotic Mersey by the shoulder.

    The Inhabited

    Richard Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for psychotic



of, relating to, or characterized by psychosis


a person experiencing psychosis
Derived Formspsychotically, adverb


It is preferable to talk about a person experiencing psychosis rather than a psychotic, which reduces a person's individuality
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 psychotic

1889, coined from psychosis, on the model of neurotic/neurosis, from Greek psykhe- "mind, soul" (see psyche).


"a psychotic person," 1901, from psychotic (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

psychotic in Medicine




Of, relating to, or affected by psychosis.


A person affected by psychosis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

psychotic in Science



Plural psychoses (sī-kōsēz)

A mental state caused by psychiatric or organic illness, characterized by a loss of contact with reality and an inability to think rationally. A psychotic person often behaves inappropriately and is incapable of normal social functioning.
Related formspsychotic adjective (sī-kŏtĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.