\ 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 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,, 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 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.

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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Cite this Entry

“Psych.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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