\ ˈsīk How to pronounce psych (audio) \
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

Verb He was trying to psych himself before the race.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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,, 22 June 2020 Later at Big Cat Rescue, she was psyched there was a snow leopard at that sanctuary. Matt Wake |, al, 17 Apr. 2020 Some may be into a little bit of a trim… but not all that psyched about the upkeep of taking all off. Kim Tranell, Seventeen, 17 Sep. 2019 This super reliable tent Tents often come with a hefty price tag, so I was psyched to see the The North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent for only $120. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, 27 Mar. 2020 We’re all trying to get psyched up, but shaking hands with your opponent — that’s NFL etiquette. Los Angeles Times, 9 Oct. 2019 An audiovisual engineer, he was also psyched to check out all the sound equipment. Lisa Rosen, Los Angeles Times, 1 Jan. 2020 But this isn’t the first time McConaughey has psyched one of his costars out on set. Ale Russian,, 8 Nov. 2019

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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Last Updated

29 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Psych.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for psych



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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