psychobabble

noun

psy·​cho·​bab·​ble ˈsī-kō-ˌba-bəl How to pronounce psychobabble (audio)
1
: a predominantly metaphorical language for expressing one's feelings
2
a
: psychological jargon
b
: trite or simplistic language derived from psychotherapy
repeating the usual psychobabble about self-discoveryMark Coleman
psychobabble intransitive verb
psychobabbler noun

Examples of psychobabble in a Sentence

a popular book filled with the usual psychobabble
Recent Examples on the Web This is the modernist quest reduced to Silicon Valley psychobabble. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 27 Oct. 2022 The show is savvy enough to sense how easily human ache can fall prey to the manipulative language of certain practitioners, and how alluring psychobabble can be, in the right context. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 19 Aug. 2021 To the uninitiated, this might read like so much innocuous psychobabble. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 8 Nov. 2020 The fetishistic horse business is merely a weird aesthetic choice that's explained away with a bit of perfunctory psychobabble. Katie Walsh, latimes.com, 2 May 2018 Even taking the Super Bowl hangover psychobabble into account, this looks more like a mechanical problem than a mental one — for now. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 19 Oct. 2017 Such speculation makes psychobiography sound like little more than psychobabble. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, 2 June 2017 As Elgafink, Bruiser’s sympathetic shrink, Kellie Spill gooses psychiatry and parodies psychobabble. Orange County Register, 9 Feb. 2017 So is the very way in which the teachers address one another, a psychobabble presumably born of workshops on treating students with sensitivity. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 9 Oct. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'psychobabble.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1975, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of psychobabble was in 1975

Dictionary Entries Near psychobabble

Cite this Entry

“Psychobabble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychobabble. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on psychobabble

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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