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

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


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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 The thrilling pop confessional gives you a deeper look into his chaotic, yet relatable, psyche. Jon Ali, Billboard, "Queer Necessities: King Princess, Perfume Genius & More on Billboard Pride's November 2019 Playlist," 5 Nov. 2019 The small, seaside town of Dover, where little more than 30,000 people live, has an outsized significance in Great Britain’s national psyche. Samuel Earle, The New Republic, "The White Cliffs of Brexit," 22 Oct. 2019 Three things to watch Spartan psyche: MSU historically has been a strong bounce-back team after a loss under Dantonio, but the Wisconsin game got away from them in a hurry. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football: What we learned during bye, what to watch vs. Penn State," 21 Oct. 2019 Pushing yourself to get out of your pajamas, head to an office, and be around others who are also focused on work can provide an amazing boost to your productivity and psyche. Dear Sam | Expert Resume, al, "What are the benefits of a coworking space?," 11 Oct. 2019 In Musicale Finale, songs that issue straight from characters’ psyches destroy all perspective. Judy Berman, Time, "WHAT IS THE FUEL OF THE FUTURE?," 25 Sep. 2019 For all its probing of Gates' amazing psyche, the documentary is really an attempt to understand his heart. Wired, "Inside Bill's Brain Calls BS on Malcom Gladwell's Outliers Theory," 20 Sep. 2019 An effective performance is imperative for UW’s collective psyche with USC and Stanford looming in back-to-back weeks. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: Heat Index, Guerrero to step down, the Wilcox fit, Colorado’s ‘Miracle’ turns 25 and more," 20 Sep. 2019 Williamson sees politics as a platform to heal the psyches of the American people. Kayla Bartsch, National Review, "Marianne Williamson Offers Priestly Wisdom for a Nation Adrift — Seriously," 12 Aug. 2019

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

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for psyche

The first known use of psyche was in 1590

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More Definitions for psyche


How to pronounce psyche (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of psyche

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


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

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

What made you want to look up psyche? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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