psychedelic

noun
psy·​che·​del·​ic | \ˌsī-kə-ˈde-lik \

Definition of psychedelic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a psychedelic drug (such as LSD)

psychedelic

adjective

Definition of psychedelic (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or being drugs (such as LSD) capable of producing abnormal psychic effects (such as hallucinations) and sometimes psychotic states

b : produced by or associated with the use of psychedelic drugs a psychedelic experience

2 : imitating, suggestive of, or reproducing effects (such as distorted or bizarre images or sounds) resembling those produced by psychedelic drugs psychedelic color schemes

3 : of, relating to, characteristic of, or being the period of the mid- to late-1960's that is associated with the psychedelic drug culture psychedelic rock the psychedelic era/movement … the "rainbow newspaper" of San Francisco that burst onto the psychedelic scene in 1966 …— Don Lattin … speaking of stereotypes, the illustrations reject any hint of a '60s psychedelic style …— Steven Heller

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Other Words from psychedelic

Adjective

psychedelically \ ˌsī-​kə-​ˈde-​li-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Did You Know?

The most famous--or notorious--of the psychedelic drugs is LSD, a compound that can be obtained from various mushrooms and other fungi but is usually created in the lab. The other well-known psychedelics are psilocybin (likewise obtained from fungi) and mescaline (obtained from peyote cactus). How psychedelics produce their effects is still fairly mysterious, partly because research ceased for almost 20 years because of their reputation, but scientists are determined to find the answers and much research is now under way. Psychedelics are now used to treat anxiety in patients with cancer, and are being tested in the treatment of such serious conditions as severe depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction.

Examples of psychedelic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This wasn’t at a party or rave but part of a quiet exploration of the mind’s capabilities (more of a Timothy Leary experience than a Ken Kesey one, for those versed in the history of psychedelics). Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: Getting high and breaking faith," 17 Oct. 2018 Topics include: How psychedelics can treat mental illness Psychedelics research Magic mushrooms and their active ingredient, psilocybin To access this download, simply enter your email address below and start reading! Discover Magazine, "The Science of Psychedelics," 27 July 2018 Not so much for the psychedelics part of it as the theories of consciousness. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Vox Editor at Large Ezra Klein on Recode Media," 14 June 2018 And the one with all the psychedelics and the counterculture origins. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Corey Pein, author of ‘Live Work Work Work Die,’ on Recode Decode," 13 June 2018 What about the future of psychedelics most excites you, and what about it most worries you? Clay Skipper, GQ, "Michael Pollan on Why Psychedelics Might Save Us All," 18 May 2018 Proponents claim that minuscule doses of psychedelics enhance creativity and productivity while reducing depression, anxiety, and cravings for cigarettes and alcohol. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "I Hacked My Body So You Don't Have To," 25 June 2018 In How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan trains his journalistic eye on the therapeutic promises — and spiritual possibilities — of psychedelics to rewire the brain and open the mind. Time Staff, Time, "Best Nonfiction Books of 2018 So Far," 11 June 2018 The Mushroom Cure The Marsh presents Adam Strauss’ solo show following his psychopharmacology experiment medicating his OCD with psychedelics. 8 p.m. Fridays and 8:30 p.m. Saturdays. SFChronicle.com, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of July 1," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

According to a new study from the Imperial College London (ICL), users who take DMT, an intensive psychedelic drug, often seem to experience the same thing. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Near-Death Experience...or Psychedelic Trip?," 19 Aug. 2018 In fact, according to Science Daily, research that was recently presented by the American Psychological Association (APA) points to how psychedelic drugs could one day actually be used to treat disorders including social anxiety and depression. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "People With Depression and Anxiety Could Benefit From Hallucinogens," 10 Aug. 2018 But his declining mental health, reportedly a result of his regular use of psychedelic drugs, prompted him to leave the band in 1968. Fox News, "8 stars who vanished from the public eye," 27 July 2018 Enter Stuart, whose latest album Way Out West was produced by Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell and mixes Buck Owens Bakersfield country with surf music, power pop, cowboy songs, and psychedelic Mojave Desert head trips. Dan Deluca, Philly.com, "Hall & Oates' Hoagie Nation features the best-dressed (and just plain best) band in Nashville," 24 May 2018 After two years in Santiago, Chile, the festival debuts stateside with a lineup that includes psychedelic tropicalia from the headliners Os Mutantes and noise rock from the Israeli guitarist Yonatan Gat. New York Times, "14 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 Kal Marks mixes psychedelic swirls and shoegaze-y washes into what is grunge-leaning post-punk that punches and stabs in unexpected directions. John Adamian, courant.com, "Kal Marks To Play MAC650," 19 May 2018 This discovery may explain why psychedelic drugs appear to be a valuable treatment for a wide range of psychiatric diseases, scientists said. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "Psychedelic drugs change brain cells in ways that could help fight depression, addiction and more," 12 June 2018 The first day features sets by ace local rapper Malci and psychedelic Afro-Latin band Dos Santos, among others, and the second day's 11 acts include postpunk sparkplugs Ovef Ow and mashup maestros the Hood Internet. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Chicago neck breakers Nequient hit the road behind their scorching debut full-length," 3 July 2018

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

Noun

1956, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1957, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for psychedelic

Noun

irregular from psych- + Greek dēloun to show, from dēlos evident; akin to Sanskrit dīdeti it shines, Latin dies day — more at deity

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Dictionary Entries near psychedelic

psyche

Psychean

psychedelia

psychedelic

Psyche knot

Psychiana

psychiater

Statistics for psychedelic

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for psychedelic

The first known use of psychedelic was in 1956

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More Definitions for psychedelic

psychedelic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of psychedelic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a psychedelic drug (such as LSD)

psychedelic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of psychedelic (Entry 2 of 2)

—used to describe a drug (such as LSD) that affects your thinking and causes you to see things that are not real

: caused by the use of psychedelic drugs

: suggesting the effects of psychedelic drugs by having bright colors, strange sounds, etc.

psychedelic

noun
psy·​che·​del·​ic | \ˌsī-kə-ˈdel-ik \

Medical Definition of psychedelic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a psychedelic drug (as LSD)

psychedelic

adjective

Medical Definition of psychedelic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being drugs (as LSD) capable of producing abnormal psychic effects (as hallucinations) and sometimes psychotic states

2 : produced by or associated with the use of psychedelic drugs a psychedelic experience

Other Words from psychedelic

psychedelically \ -​ˈdel-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

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