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

Let’s now talk about the long-term impact of this conflict, namely psychological trauma. Robert Downen, Houston Chronicle, "Children, 1 and 7, and their grandmother killed in Conroe fire," 9 June 2018 The suit also says the five teens have suffered severe emotional distress, shock, horror and psychological trauma, as well as sleepless nights, nausea and headaches as a result. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Civil suit claims Hamilton High coach knew about sexual abuse between players," 16 May 2018 Finally, there is the major psychological trauma of grief. Warren Kozak, WSJ, "You Can Limit Death’s Financial Costs, if Not the Emotional Ones," 27 Apr. 2018 Cancer wreaks a monumental physical and psychological toll, and any and every coping mechanism has value and should not be knocked. Sarah Weinman, The Cut, "Did Drinking Give Me Breast Cancer? I Don’t Know.," 18 Apr. 2018 Another ex-follower named David reported an incident in which a woman fled an ashram encounter group after being raped and had to undergo months of counseling outside the ashram in order to overcome the resulting psychological trauma. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "Outside the Limits of the Human Imagination," 27 Mar. 2018 Others have written about the psychological and physical impact of separation. Christine M. Flowers,, "As politicians duke it out, we must remember that most children just want to go home | Christine Flowers," 12 July 2018 Different participants report psychological and spiritual benefits—a reset of sorts—as well as physical ones, with some chronic pain sufferers crediting the icy waters as a cure. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Artist Taryn Simon Invites You to Take a Cold Water Plunge Inside a Museum," 11 July 2018 Many chapters begin with excerpts from the author's psychological and school evaluations over the years. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "'Little Panic': How the Etan Patz kidnapping terrorized author Amanda Stern," 10 July 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

12 Nov 2018

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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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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