psy·​chi·​a·​try sə-ˈkī-ə-trē How to pronounce psychiatry (audio)
: a branch of medicine that deals with mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders
psychiatric adjective
psychiatrically adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Most of the services have psychologists, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals licensed by their state’s board of psychology or psychiatry. Dallas News, 22 Nov. 2022 Many of these potential recruits would have been trained in areas like cardio-thoracic surgery, pediatrics, anesthetics and psychiatry. Katherine Hignett, Forbes, 20 Dec. 2022 Martha Shenton is a professor of psychiatry and radiology at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an expert in the high-tech brain imaging that the Q30 scientists have relied on. Matthew Futterman, New York Times, 19 Dec. 2022 During his psychiatry rotation, Suleman himself observed several patients undergoing ECT. Kate Golembiewski, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2022 For much of his career, Torrey was a lonely voice on this issue, disavowed by patient advocacy groups and by organized psychiatry. Ellen Barry,, 11 Dec. 2022 To better learn about her own body’s needs, Rachel Weller, PsyD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, turns to a mindfulness skill called body scanning. Kirsten Nunez, SELF, 30 Nov. 2022 Alannah Miranda of the University of California, San Diego, is a postdoctoral scholar working with U.C.S.D. psychiatry professors William Perry and Arpi Minassian to explore these questions. Gary Stix, Scientific American, 29 Nov. 2022 Problematic smartphone use probably affects most U.S. adults, says Dr. Anna Lembke, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University who’s the author of Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence. Time, 7 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1828, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of psychiatry was in 1828

Dictionary Entries Near psychiatry

Cite this Entry

“Psychiatry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


psy·​chi·​a·​try sə-ˈkī-ə-trē How to pronounce psychiatry (audio)
: a branch of medicine that deals with disorders of the mind, emotions, or behavior
psychiatric adjective

Medical Definition


psy·​chi·​a·​try -trē How to pronounce psychiatry (audio)
plural psychiatries
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on psychiatry

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