psy·​chop·​a·​thy | \sī-ˈkä-pə-thē \
plural psychopathies

Definition of psychopathy 

: mental disorder especially when marked by egocentric and antisocial activity

Examples of psychopathy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The one-in-five rate is much too high—the base rate for clinical psychopathy is only around 1 percent (one in 100)—due in part to the relatively small sample size of 261 senior professionals. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Acting like a psychopath is great for male CEOs, not so much for women," 26 Oct. 2018 The coldblooded and grandiose assault on a crowd of people Paddock had never met also bore characteristics of psychopathy, not of someone having a mental breakdown, said Dr. O’Toole, the retired FBI profiler. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "One Year Later, Experts Dig Deeper to Find Vegas Shooter’s Motive," 30 Sep. 2018 Research shows that internet trolls tend to display personality traits like sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. German Lopez, Vox, "David Hogg’s family was swatted. That’s extremely dangerous.," 5 June 2018 The discovery caught the attention of other researchers, and by the 1950s, psychedelic testing was in full bloom, yielding promising results for people suffering from neurosis, schizophrenia, and psychopathy. Hope Reese, Longreads, "‘I Was a Storm of Confetti’: Michael Pollan On Why It’s a Good Idea To Lose Your Self," 30 May 2018 That's sociopathy, psychopathy rooted in narcissism. Fox News, "Texas lieutenant governor on preventing school shootings," 19 May 2018 Many are walking among us, leading completely normal lives, and are even some of the most successful members of society, precisely because of their psychopathy. Xanthe Mallett, Newsweek, "The God Complex: How to Spot an Everyday Psychopath," 9 Mar. 2018 There is still a lot to be learned about these traits and the select few who embody the truest clinical expressions of sociopathy, psychopathy, or narcissism. Talkspace, Teen Vogue, "What It Really Means to be a Sociopath, Psychopath, and Narcissist," 23 Oct. 2017 Sociopathy and psychopathy are often used interchangeably in clinical settings. Talkspace, Teen Vogue, "What It Really Means to be a Sociopath, Psychopath, and Narcissist," 23 Oct. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of psychopathy

1847, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

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The first known use of psychopathy was in 1847

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More Definitions for psychopathy


psy·​chop·​a·​thy | \sī-ˈkäp-ə-thē \
plural psychopathies

Medical Definition of psychopathy 

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