psychedelic

noun
psy·​che·​del·​ic | \ ˌsī-kə-ˈde-lik How to pronounce psychedelic (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from psychedelic

Adjective

psychedelically \ ˌsī-​kə-​ˈde-​li-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce psychedelically (audio) \ 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

When recollections of drug effects were compared with NDEs, stories about hallucinogens and psychedelics had the greatest similarities to NDEs, and the drug that scored the highest similarity to NDEs was the hallucinogen ketamine. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "New Clues Found in Understanding Near-Death Experiences," 10 Sep. 2019 And these are conferences to explore cutting-edge things like psychedelics, social activism, our citizen diplomacy things in Israel and Russia. Wallace Baine, SFChronicle.com, "Q&A: Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy," 6 Sep. 2019 Of course, researchers emphasized, there are serious risks to psychedelics. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "A multi-million dollar donation just created a bonanza of magic mushroom research," 4 Sep. 2019 Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Johns Hopkins opening a new psychedelic research center, studying use of ‘magic mushrooms’ and more," 4 Sep. 2019 Mushroom advocates say the intense impacts associated with psychedelics use tend to limit their consumption. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Magic mushrooms for better health? Psychedelic drugs are having a moment across US," 24 Aug. 2019 Knowledgeable clinicians caution that some people should not take psychedelics at all, including people with a personal or family history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Kevin Matthews, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Let’s talk magic mushrooms, Denver, now that they are decriminalized," 17 June 2019 Neuroscientist Robin Carhart-Harris suggests that psychedelics can, in effect, ‘reboot’ the brain. Michael Pollan, WSJ, "The New Science of Psychedelics," 3 May 2018 Unlike synthetic psychedelics such as LSD, the amount of psilocybin in magic mushrooms varies with the species, the batch, even the cap versus the stem. Catherine Ryan Gregory, Marie Claire, "The Trip of a Lifetime," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And, certainly, in terms of the mythos, people will point to San Francisco in the 1960s with all the psychedelic bands. John Wenzel, The Know, "Are we just high, or is Colorado the No. 1 market for jam bands?," 9 Sep. 2019 From their 1997 heartbreak opus, Dig Me Out, to 2005’s equal parts experimental and psychedelic The Woods, their records have offered women catharsis by way of disarmingly raw lyrics and thrashing sounds. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Sleater-Kinney Are Still Here to Subvert, With a New Album and Aesthetic," 6 Sep. 2019 The Dutch duo of Emiel van den Dungen and Raynor de Groot cull inspiration from South American, Caribbean and African music to create house grooves that are slow, psychedelic and as balmy as a run through the rainforest. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Billboard Dance Emerging Artists: September 2019," 5 Sep. 2019 The funding will support the creation of a new Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, and the execution of a five-year roster of psychedelic research. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "A multi-million dollar donation just created a bonanza of magic mushroom research," 4 Sep. 2019 Many of its best songs feel like luxuriating in a long summer afternoon in the country, when good friends have come by and the fireflies are just beginning to gather in the yard: the music is warm, buoying, and gently psychedelic. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "David Crosby Celebrates His Ornery Self in the Documentary “Remember My Name”," 16 July 2019 Sci-fi spectacle was integral to P-Funk, the postmodern and psychedelic brand of funk that George Clinton helped innovate. James Guida, The New York Review of Books, "James Guida," 6 Apr. 2019 Guests can win oversized floppy psychedelic hats or purchase floral head wreaths at the event. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Tomball’s GroovFest ‘19 to celebrate ‘all things groovy’," 4 Sep. 2019 The result is an audio-visual bonanza told on a huge canvas, alternately psychedelic, baffling, gorgeous, soul-crushing, and hilarious. Peter Opaskar, Ars Technica, "Apocalypse Now Final Cut," 31 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about psychedelic

Dictionary Entries near psychedelic

psyche

Psychean

psychedelia

psychedelic

Psyche knot

Psychiana

psychiater

Statistics for psychedelic

Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for psychedelic

The first known use of psychedelic was in 1956

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce psychedelic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce psychedelically (audio) \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on psychedelic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with psychedelic

Spanish Central: Translation of psychedelic

Nglish: Translation of psychedelic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of psychedelic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on psychedelic

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

WORD OF THE DAY

miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!