mental

1 of 2

adjective (1)

men·​tal ˈmen-tᵊl How to pronounce mental (audio)
1
a
: of or relating to the mind
specifically : of or relating to the total emotional and intellectual response of an individual to external reality
mental health
b
: of or relating to intellectual as contrasted with emotional activity
mental acuity
c
: of, relating to, or being intellectual as contrasted with overt physical activity
made quick mental calculations
d
: occurring or experienced in the mind : inner
mental anguish
a mental breakdown
e
: relating to the mind, its activity, or its products as an object of study : ideological
mental science
f
: relating to spirit or idea as opposed to matter
… the distinction between physical things and mental ideasJohn W. Yolton
2
a(1)
often offensive : of, relating to, or affected by a psychiatric disorder
a mental patient
(2)
sometimes offensive : mentally unsound : mad, crazy
… was going a bit mental from old age …Nevil Shute
not used technically
b
sometimes offensive : intended for the care or treatment of persons affected by psychiatric disorders
mental hospitals
3
: of or relating to telepathic or mind-reading powers
mental telepathy

mental

2 of 2

adjective (2)

: of or relating to the chin : genial

Examples of mental in a Sentence

Adjective (1) a funny mental image made him laugh out loud humane treatment of mental patients
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Williamson said earlier this week that his hamstring is completely healed, but his mental state remains a work in progress. oregonlive, 13 Apr. 2023 Sign up That Torrance pushed Vial and Eduardo to such mental anguish does not surprise immigrant-justice advocates. María Inés Taracena, The New Republic, 12 Apr. 2023 Regular meditation, for example, is a tool that has been proven repeatedly by research to increase time spent in the present moment and limit the rumination that brings mental anguish. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 7 Apr. 2023 Your work/life balance could leave a lot to be desired, and remaining so unbalanced won't be good for your mental state in the long run. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 6 Apr. 2023 Like Didion’s work, Bridgers’s lyrics capture her surroundings and mental state with rigorous precision. Vulture, 4 Apr. 2023 This being a competition, the endurance racers will also have to push through their hunger pangs, injuries and mental anguish to beat one another to the end. Dave Quinn, Peoplemag, 3 Apr. 2023 Zwerner suffered permanent bodily injuries, physical pain, mental anguish, lost earnings and other damages, the lawsuit states. Denise Lavoie, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mental.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective (1)

Middle English, from Late Latin mentalis, from Latin ment-, mens mind — more at mind

Adjective (2)

Latin mentum "chin" + -al entry 1 — more at mouth entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective (2)

circa 1727, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mental was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near mental

Cite this Entry

“Mental.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mental. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

mental

adjective
men·​tal
ˈment-ᵊl
1
a
: of or relating to the mind
mental powers
mental health
b
: carried on in the mind
mental arithmetic
c
: occurring or experienced in the mind
mental anguish
a mental breakdown
2
sometimes offensive : intended for the care of persons affected by mental illnesses
mental hospitals
mentally
-ᵊl-ē
adverb

Medical Definition

mental

1 of 2 adjective
men·​tal ˈment-ᵊl How to pronounce mental (audio)
1
a
: of or relating to the mind
specifically : of or relating to the total emotional and intellectual response of an individual to external reality
b
: of or relating to intellectual as contrasted with emotional activity
2
a
often offensive : of, relating to, or affected by a psychiatric disorder
a mental patient
b
sometimes offensive : intended for the care or treatment of persons affected by psychiatric disorders
mental hospitals
mentally adverb

mental

2 of 2 adjective
: of or relating to the chin : genial

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