psy·​cho·​bab·​ble | \ ˈsī-kō-ˌba-bəl How to pronounce psychobabble (audio) \

Definition of psychobabble

1 : a predominantly metaphorical language for expressing one's feelings
2a : psychological jargon
b : trite or simplistic language derived from psychotherapy repeating the usual psychobabble about self-discovery— Mark Coleman

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Other Words from psychobabble

psychobabble intransitive verb
psychobabbler \ ˈsī-​kō-​ˌba-​blər How to pronounce psychobabble (audio) \ noun

Examples of psychobabble in a Sentence

a popular book filled with the usual psychobabble
Recent Examples on the Web To the uninitiated, this might read like so much innocuous psychobabble. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "How to Tell the Story of a Cult," 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,, "Tech-smart thriller 'Bad Samaritan' mines modern-day paranoia for chills," 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, "Super Bowl rematch with Patriots would be ideal time for Falcons to recapture 2016 mojo," 19 Oct. 2017 Such speculation makes psychobiography sound like little more than psychobabble. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Bob Dylan," 2 June 2017 As Elgafink, Bruiser’s sympathetic shrink, Kellie Spill gooses psychiatry and parodies psychobabble. Orange County Register, "‘Claudio Quest’ in Anaheim is a feel-good fairy tale for our fractured times," 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, "Review: ‘Miles for Mary,’ a Sendup of the Interminable Meeting From Hell," 9 Oct. 2016

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

1975, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of psychobabble was in 1975

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Cite this Entry

“Psychobabble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of psychobabble

informal + disapproving : language that is used by people who talk about mental and emotional problems and that is seen as silly or meaningless : psychological jargon

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