psych

1 of 3

verb

variants or less commonly psyche
psyched; psyching

transitive verb

1
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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

psych

2 of 3

abbreviation

psych-

3 of 3

combining form

variants or psycho-
1
: mind : mental processes and activities
psychodynamic
psychology
2
: psychological methods
psychoanalysis
psychotherapy
3
: brain
psychosurgery
4
: mental and
psychosomatic

Example Sentences

Verb He was trying to psych himself before the race.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
There’s no need to put any extra pressure on yourself or psych yourself out. Julia Poe, Chicago Tribune, 1 Oct. 2022 Backing him up is some truly energizing post-hardcore, which emulates the melodic heaviness of ‘90s greats like Helmet or Quicksand — and will psych you up for a stagedive like little else this year. Spin Staff, SPIN, 7 June 2022 From hotline to psych hospital, the focus is on risk management. New York Times, 17 May 2022 There's no real preparation to like pump myself up or psych myself out for those kind of scenes. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, 24 Mar. 2022 In previous seasons with this exact scenario, T.J. will call the players down to psych them out before saying the elimination is canceled. Kyndall Cunningham, Vulture, 11 Nov. 2021 Dane paces back and forth, trying to psych himself up to pick up the sword — which Marvel comics fans know will bestow him with great power and long life, but at the cost of Dane’s eroding sanity and innate goodness. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 5 Nov. 2021 However, King said her efforts to psych out her opponents don’t impact her own performances. Michelle R. Martinelli, The Indianapolis Star, 20 July 2021 Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista also spoofed the incident, taking a minute to psych himself up like a boxer preparing for battle before ultimately finding the courage to take a one-handed sip. Mike Miller, EW.com, 22 June 2020 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

by shortening

Combining form

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

First Known Use

Verb

1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of psych was in 1917

Dictionary Entries Near psych

Cite this Entry

“Psych.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psych. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

psych

verb

variants or psyche
ˈsīk
psyched; psyching
1
: to make oneself psychologically ready
usually used with up
psyched themselves up for the race
2
: to make uneasy
often used with out
psych out an opponent

Medical Definition

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ