psy·​cho·​log·​i·​cal | \ ˌsī-kə-ˈlä-ji-kəl How to pronounce psychological (audio) \
variants: or less commonly psychologic \ ˌsī-​kə-​ˈlä-​jik How to pronounce psychologic (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from psychological

psychologically \ ˌsī-​kə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce psychologically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for psychological



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Much of the work is outsourced outside the United States where workers also suffer extreme psychological stress for low wages, my colleague Elizabeth Dwoskin reports. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Twitter placed the political ad ball in Facebook's court," 31 Oct. 2019 From there, he was transported to a hospital for detention and a psychological evaluation and then eventually the Marion County Jail, where he was held for three days. Amanda Zhou, Indianapolis Star, "Lawsuit says man with intellectual disabilities was mistreated in jail," 23 Oct. 2019 Conversely, being under psychological stress alters the way certain hormones (including cortisol and epinephrine) and inflammatory molecules (like cytokines) work in the body, which may then trigger psoriasis flares in some people. Claire Gillespie, SELF, "My Psoriasis and Depression Are Deeply Connected," 4 Oct. 2019 Katshu believes political events can cause significant psychological stress, and those with a predisposition to mental illness are more likely to be affected in such circumstances. Jack Guy, CNN, "Man suffered acute psychotic illness triggered by Brexit vote," 1 Oct. 2019 The test would be scored, and if the score passed a certain threshold, a potential soldier would undergo an in-person psychological evaluation. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian, "The First Personality Test Was Developed During World War I," 24 Sep. 2019 In the two decades leading up to 2015, more than 321,000 farmers committed suicide, according to national crime records, though debts and falling crop prices are likely to have added to the psychological stress of low farm yields. Rohit Inani, Scientific American, "As Land Degrades, India Struggles to Save Its Farms," 19 Sep. 2019 The push-and-pull between the two forms the crux of the narrative: Stella is her mother's Achilles’ heel, weighing her down with unneeded psychological stress and causing her to slip up at key moments. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Proxima': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 6 Sep. 2019 Vredenburg is just one of thousands of veterinarians who have suffered from psychological stress on the job., "Oregon tackles the veterinary suicide crisis, starting with the stigma," 10 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of psychological

circa 1688, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about psychological

Statistics for psychological

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for psychological

The first known use of psychological was circa 1688

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for psychological


How to pronounce psychological (audio)

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 How to pronounce psychological (audio) \

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 How to pronounce psychological (audio) \
variants: also psychologic \ -​ik How to pronounce psychologic (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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