psyche

noun
psy·​che | \ ˈsī-kē \

Definition of psyche

1 capitalized : a princess loved by Cupid

2 [ Greek psychē ]

a : soul, personality the nation's consumer psyche— D. J. Kevles
b : the totality of elements forming the mind (see mind entry 1 sense 2) specifically, in Freudian psychoanalytic theory : the id, ego, and superego including both conscious and unconscious components

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Synonyms for psyche

Synonyms

soul, spirit

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Did You Know?

Sometime back in the 16th century, we borrowed the word psyche directly from Greek into English. In Greek mythology, Psyche was a beautiful princess who fell in love with Eros (Cupid), god of love, and went through terrible trials before being allowed to marry him. The story is often understood to be about the soul redeeming itself through love. (To the Greeks, psyche also meant "butterfly", which suggests how they imagined the soul.) In English, psyche often sounds less spiritual than soul, less intellectual than mind, and more private than personality.

Examples of psyche in a Sentence

some hidden corner within your psyche disturbing, enigmatic paintings that seem to embody the psyche of this brilliant but troubled artist

Recent Examples on the Web

That’s the amateur golfer’s psyche in a nutshell: high hopes, low expectations. Chris Brodeur, courant.com, "How Difficult Was Jordan Spieth's Winning Bunker Shot At The Travelers Championship? Like Many, We Tried It," 20 June 2018 The term has an almost Freudian feel — conjuring, perhaps, an overstuffed psyche, ripe with repression. Jolene Edgar, Allure, "The Kybella Debate: Why Some Plastic Surgeons and Dermatologists Are Reconsidering the Chin-Slimming Injectable," 30 May 2018 The trauma of Mexico’s missing is an open wound in the nation’s psyche. Juan Montes, WSJ, "‘It’s a Crisis of Civilization in Mexico.’ 250,000 Dead. 37,400 Missing.," 14 Nov. 2018 Buried deep within Trump’s psyche is the notion that nice white boys simply can’t do anything wrong. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Do Women Have to Do to Be Believed?," 20 Sep. 2018 Rodriguez is spellbinding as Marisa, mixing humor and emotion as her internal psyche and external circumstances begin to unravel. Marissa Oberlander, Chicago Reader, "In The Displaced, the ghosts of gentrification won't leave a young couple alone," 14 June 2018 Brown addressed every crisis, updated every injury, and dealt with every off-the-court issue, from Embiid’s dancing at a Meek Mill concert to Markelle Fultz’s mysterious injury and damaged psyche. Marcus Hayes, Philly.com, "In Brett Brown, the Sixers have a decent GM at last | Marcus Hayes," 7 June 2018 The Berlin-based, feminist avant-garde artist and musician brings sociopolitical concerns and global issues to her art-punk-meets-psyche-pop songs, thanks in part to a unique perspective gained growing up a Jewish Russian immigrant in Tel Aviv. Courtney Devores, charlotteobserver, "7 buzzworthy concerts coming to Charlotte in the next week," 6 June 2018 What did this history explain about the human psyche today? Sean Illing, Vox, "Why humans evolved into such good bullshitters," 6 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'psyche.' 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 psyche

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for psyche

Latin, from Greek psychē soul

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Statistics for psyche

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for psyche

The first known use of psyche was in 1590

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More Definitions for psyche

psyche

noun

English Language Learners Definition of psyche

: the soul, mind, or personality of a person or group

psyche

noun
psy·​che | \ ˈsī-(ˌ)kē \

Medical Definition of psyche

: the specialized cognitive, conative, and affective aspects of a psychosomatic unity : mind specifically : the totality of the id, ego, and superego including both conscious and unconscious components

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Comments on psyche

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