psy·​che ˈsī-kē How to pronounce psyche (audio)
capitalized : a princess loved by Cupid
[Greek psychē]
: soul, personality
the nation's consumer psycheD. J. Kevles
: 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

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 The glamour of La Dolce Vita and the repressive sexism of the 1960s pulse through this captivating exploration of the female psyche. Carly Tagen-Dye, Peoplemag, 14 July 2024 The controversial corporation performs procedures in which employees’ psyches are bifurcated to separate work memories from personal memories, creating Innies (employees’ at-work personas) and Outties (their selves outside of the office). Jaden Thompson, Variety, 10 July 2024 Fascinated by Freud’s writings on the complexity of the human psyche and the role of the unconscious mind, Dr. Crews had applied a psychoanalytic approach to literary criticism at the outset of his career, including in a 1966 study of author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 28 June 2024 Advertisement That left her vulnerable, and Fitzgerald and Strasser finally found a detail that struck Dahl deep in her psyche. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, 28 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for psyche 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'psyche.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, from Greek psychē soul

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of psyche was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near psyche

Cite this Entry

“Psyche.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


psy·​che ˈsī-kē How to pronounce psyche (audio)

Medical Definition


psy·​che ˈsī-(ˌ)kē How to pronounce psyche (audio)
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on psyche

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