psy·​chi·​a·​try | \sə-ˈkī-ə-trē, sī-\

Definition of psychiatry 

: a branch of medicine that deals with mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from psychiatry

psychiatric \ ˌsī-​kē-​ˈa-​trik \ adjective
psychiatrically \ ˌsī-​kē-​ˈa-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
psychiatrist \ sə-​ˈkī-​ə-​trist , sī-​ \ noun

Examples of psychiatry in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

North of Sacramento, there is a complete lack of psychiatry residency programs as well as educational programs for psychologists and psychiatric nurse practitioners, according to the UCSF study. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "California needs more mental health professionals – and the shortage will get worse, experts say," 11 July 2018 When that moment of understanding occurs psychiatry will truly have taken a great leap forward. The Economist, "A big collaboration is trying to understand diseases of the psyche," 28 June 2018 Pitt also graduated from Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his psychiatry residency training at the University of Michigan's Medical Center. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "Prominent forensic psychiatrist killed in Arizona has Michigan ties," 4 June 2018 This is where psychiatry has done the worst: believing too much that these terms are wholly descriptive. Augusten Burroughs, Town & Country, "Welcome to the Very Best Asylum Money Can Buy," 23 Apr. 2018 McAteer has quickly fallen in love with the city as well and started a new job in pediatric psychiatry in February. Jamie Goldberg,, "Timbers defender Zarek Valentin feeling at home in Portland on and off the pitch," 19 Apr. 2018 Instead of asking your teen to talk, share an activity that will give your child the chance to open up: Cook dinner together, walk the dog, take a drive, says Tara Niendam, an associate professor in psychiatry at the University of California-Davis. Emily Bazar, Washington Post, "When Erratic Teenage Behavior Means Something More," 14 June 2018 Moawad doesn’t work with Alabama anymore, but Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban still uses consultant Kevin Elko and Michigan State psychiatry professor Lonny Rosen (who also helps the Spartans in East Lansing). Andy Staples,, "How Trevor Moawad, College Football's Coveted Mental Coach, Molds Draft Prospects' Minds," 17 Apr. 2018 David Greenfield, a psychiatry professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, developed a smartphone compulsion test (look it up online and take it) to help anxious people assess their phone usage. Horacio Salinas, Allure, "What an Internet Rehabilitation Program Is Really Like," 21 Jan. 2018

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

1828, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for psychiatry

probably from French psychiatrie, from psychiatre psychiatrist, from psych- psych- + Greek iatros physician — more at -iatry

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about psychiatry

Share psychiatry

Statistics for psychiatry

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for psychiatry

The first known use of psychiatry was in 1828

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for psychiatry



English Language Learners Definition of psychiatry

: a branch of medicine that deals with mental or emotional disorders


psy·​chi·​a·​try | \sə-ˈkī-ə-trē, sī-\

Kids Definition of psychiatry

: a branch of medicine dealing with problems of the mind, emotions, or behavior


psy·​chi·​a·​try | \-trē \
plural psychiatries

Medical Definition of psychiatry 

: a branch of medicine that deals with the science and practice of treating mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders especially as originating in endogenous causes or resulting from faulty interpersonal relationships

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on psychiatry

Spanish Central: Translation of psychiatry

Nglish: Translation of psychiatry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of psychiatry for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about psychiatry

Comments on psychiatry

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


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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