psy·​chop·​a·​thy sī-ˈkä-pə-thē How to pronounce psychopathy (audio)
plural psychopathies
: mental disorder especially when marked by egocentric and antisocial activity, a lack of remorse for one's actions, an absence of empathy for others, and often criminal tendencies

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web An accredited clinician, ideally one with a background in psychopathy, conducts a semi-structured interview with a subject, coaxing out information about the subject’s personality, lifestyle and personal history. Danielle Egan, Discover Magazine, 2 May 2016 Jennifer Kahn tells the story behind her story on child psychopathy to The Open Notebook ‘Africa’s propaganda trail’ by Martin Robbins – a stirring read about the lies told to aid visitors in Africa. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 4 Aug. 2012 Sandra Oh) is a very mid-level British intelligence operative with a side interest in criminal psychopathy. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2022 There are so many pieces of psychopathy that are manifested in the shape of a toaster. New York Times, 20 July 2022 This actually reminded me of another fictional tale of psychopathy, Gone Girl, which (unlike You) manages to make a disturbed character interesting without undermining the severity of their disorder. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, 18 Dec. 2019 Plus the scenes in which Oliver finally confronts Sebastian Blood are a masterclass in tension and psychopathy, and Felicity and Diggle’s creative interrogation methods prove that Team Arrow is more than just one vigilante and two sidekicks. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 15 Oct. 2019 What’s more, scores on each of the dimensions of the dark triad were positively correlated with one another: People with a tendency toward narcissism are also more likely to demonstrate Machiavellianism and psychopathy, and vice versa. Glenn Geher, WSJ, 6 Dec. 2018 However, the analysis also showed that certain traits associated with psychopathy were perceived as slightly positive for men, but negative for women. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 26 Oct. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'psychopathy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of psychopathy was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near psychopathy

Cite this Entry

“Psychopathy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition


psy·​chop·​a·​thy sī-ˈkäp-ə-thē How to pronounce psychopathy (audio)
plural psychopathies
: mental disorder especially when marked by egocentric and antisocial activity, a lack of remorse for one's actions, an absence of empathy for others, and criminal tendencies
especially formerly : antisocial personality
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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