psychology

noun

psy·​chol·​o·​gy sī-ˈkä-lə-jē How to pronounce psychology (audio)
plural psychologies
1
: the science of mind and behavior
2
a
: the mental or behavioral characteristics of an individual or group
b
: the study of mind and behavior in relation to a particular field of knowledge or activity
3
: a theory or system of psychology
Freudian psychology
the psychology of Jung

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The Roots of Psychology

The word psychology was formed by combining the Greek psychē (meaning “breath, principle of life, life, soul,”) with –logia (which comes from the Greek logos, meaning “speech, word, reason”). An early use appears in Nicholas Culpeper’s mid-17th century translation of Simeon Partliz’s A New Method of Physick, in which it is stated that “Psychologie is the knowledg of the Soul.” Today, psychology is concerned with the science or study of the mind and behavior. Many branches of psychology are differentiated by the specific field to which they belong, such as animal psychology, child psychology, and sports psychology.

Examples of psychology in a Sentence

She studied psychology in college. the psychology of an athlete the psychology of crowd behavior We need to understand the psychologies of the two people involved in the incident.
Recent Examples on the Web Females tend to overthink with lists, and other agenda items from their busy lives, so foreplay is a must to help with the psychology of female arousal. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 6 Apr. 2024 The new book is an introspective look at the psychology of letting things go and aims to give readers some insight into their own lives in the process. Saira Mueller, CNN, 2 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for psychology 

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

Word History

Etymology

New Latin psychologia, from psych- + -logia -logy

First Known Use

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of psychology was in 1749

Dictionary Entries Near psychology

Cite this Entry

“Psychology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychology. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

psychology

noun
psy·​chol·​o·​gy sī-ˈkäl-ə-jē How to pronounce psychology (audio)
plural psychologies
1
: the science or study of mind and behavior
2
: the particular ways in which an individual or group thinks or behaves
Etymology

from scientific Latin psychologia "the study of the mind and behavior," derived from Greek psychē "soul, mind" and Greek -logia "science, study"

Medical Definition

psychology

noun
psy·​chol·​o·​gy -jē How to pronounce psychology (audio)
plural psychologies
1
: the science of mind and behavior
2
a
: the mental or behavioral characteristics typical of an individual or group or a particular form of behavior
mob psychology
the psychology of arson
b
: the study of mind and behavior in relation to a particular field of knowledge or activity
color psychology
the psychology of learning
3
: a treatise on or a school, system, or branch of psychology

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