psy·​cho·​log·​i·​cal | \ ˌsī-kə-ˈlä-ji-kəl \
variants: or less commonly psychologic \ ˌsī-​kə-​ˈlä-​jik \

Definition of psychological

1a : of or relating to psychology
b : mental
2 : directed toward the will or toward the mind specifically in its conative function psychological warfare

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Other Words from psychological

psychologically \ ˌsī-​kə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for psychological


cerebral, inner, intellectual, interior, internal, mental



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Examples of psychological in a Sentence

a psychological rather than a physical condition suffered from psychological disorders all of his life

Recent Examples on the Web

Cortisol is a hormone that the body pumps out in response to a number of different stressors — like sudden, psychological stress, or chronic inflammation. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Don’t stress out yet about stress shrinking your brain," 25 Oct. 2018 Argentinian midfielder Rodrigo Battaglia is the latest to do so, citing psychological issues as his reason for wanting to break ties., "The Exodus Continues: Rodrigo Battaglia Becomes Latest Player to Terminate Contract With Sporting CP," 14 June 2018 The psychological stress and grueling security shifts are such that most get just two or three hours a night. Kyra Gurney, miamiherald, "Nicaragua university students under attack as they lead political uprising against Ortega," 8 June 2018 But now Larry Feig of Tufts University and his colleagues have shown that psychological stress seems to cause similar changes in the sperm of both mice and men. The Economist, "How stress echoes down the generations," 24 May 2018 Women having trouble getting pregnant sometimes try yoga, meditation or mindfulness, and some research suggests that psychological stress may affect infertility. Ariana Eunjung Cha,, "Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy, NIH study suggests," 17 May 2018 The women explained the children struggled with food because they had been exposed to trauma before they were adopted and developed psychological issues as a result., "Hart children's tiny bodies telegraphed warning that went unheeded by Oregon officials," 5 May 2018 According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, a national newspaper, the man was born in 1969 and had come to the attention of authorities for psychological issues in 2014 and 2016. Melissa Eddy, New York Times, "2 Dead in Münster, Germany, After Truck Driver Crashes Into Crowd," 7 Apr. 2018 Whether dealing with physical disabilities or not, gun violence survivors also face psychological issues including PTSD, anxiety, depression, survivor’s guilt, and more. S.e. Smith, Teen Vogue, "The Disability Community Is Being Excluded From the Gun Control Conversation," 28 Mar. 2018

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

circa 1688, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for psychological

Last Updated

5 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for psychological

The first known use of psychological was circa 1688

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English Language Learners Definition of psychological

: of or relating to the mind
: of or relating to the study of the mind : of or relating to psychology


psy·​cho·​log·​i·​cal | \ ˌsī-kə-ˈlä-ji-kəl \

Kids Definition of psychological

: of or relating to psychology or the mind psychological research psychological distress


psy·​cho·​log·​i·​cal | \ ˌsī-kə-ˈläj-i-kəl \
variants: also psychologic \ -​ik \

Medical Definition of psychological

1a : relating to, characteristic of, directed toward, influencing, arising in, or acting through the mind especially in its affective or cognitive functions psychological phenomena the psychological aspects of a problem
b : directed toward the will or toward the mind specifically in its conative function psychological warfare
2 : relating to, concerned with, deriving from, or used in psychology psychological research psychological tests a psychological clinic

Other Words from psychological

psychologically \ -​ē \ adverb

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Comments on psychological

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


esteemed in general opinion

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