\ˈsīk \
variants: or less commonly psyche
psyched; psyching

Definition of psych 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

2a : to anticipate correctly the intentions or actions of : outguess

b : to analyze or figure out (something, such as a problem or course of action) I psyched it all out by myself and decided— David Hulburd

3a : to make psychologically uneasy : intimidate, scare pressure doesn't psych me— Jerry Quarry often used with out has a way of psyching out the competition

b : to make (someone, such as oneself) psychologically ready especially for performance often used with up psyched herself up for the race



Definition of psych (Entry 2 of 3)

variants: or psycho-

Definition of psych- (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : mind : mental processes and activities psychodynamic psychology

2 : psychological methods psychoanalysis psychotherapy

3 : brain psychosurgery

4 : mental and psychosomatic

Examples of psych in a Sentence


He was trying to psych himself before the race.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There are people who have to psych themselves up to enter a gym and people who have to work hard to get in the mood to rage. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "This Is What Actually Goes Down at a Fitness Festival," 27 Oct. 2018 Fans watch for the excitement, for the tension, for the release, to be psyched up, for the thrill, for the enjoyment. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "How watching the World Cup final might affect your health," 14 July 2018 First, the team's picking from their respective beats — Brian on movies, Kelly on TV, Brett on video games — and then a free-for-all round for what's got them psyched. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "The Mothership podcast: It's time for our big pop-culture summer preview!," 11 May 2018 But in bracing for it last winter, the Phillies pitching prospect actually psyched himself out. Scott Lauber,, "Pitching prospect JoJo Romero has benefited from keeping things simple in double A," 31 May 2018 If not, you’ll still be psyched to sample the elevated comfort food of Jason Vincent, one of Chicago’s very best chefs. Michael Nagrant, RedEye Chicago, "Date night under $50: What to order at some of Chicago's best restaurants," 12 July 2018 They weren’t psyched to be onstage in the middle of at trial. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: The Verge’s Casey Newton and Recode’s Peter Kafka on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 22 June 2018 In case the drooling emojis on Instagram didn't tip you off, Pete Davidson is really psyched about his engagement to Ariana Grande! Rebecca Farley,, "We Finally Know How Pete Davidson Feels About His Engagement To Ariana Grande," 21 June 2018 Okay, so except for that last guy, most of the fans were psyched about the Dragons. Charlotte Wilder,, "Imagine Dragons Fires Up Hometown Crowd Before Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'psych.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of psych


1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for psych


by shortening

Combining form

Greek, from psychē breath, principle of life, life, soul, from psychein to breathe; akin to Sanskrit babhasti he blows

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Statistics for psych

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for psych

The first known use of psych was in 1917

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English Language Learners Definition of psych

: to make (yourself or another person) mentally ready to perform or compete



Medical Definition of psych 

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with psych

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