psy·​chop·​a·​thy | \ sī-ˈkä-pə-thē How to pronounce psychopathy (audio) \
plural psychopathies

Definition of psychopathy

: 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

Examples of psychopathy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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 Murphy used the data on personality from the previous study and used it to calculate a new score based on personality traits that indicated psychopathy, according to Quartz. Scott Berson, miamiherald, 19 June 2018 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, 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, 30 Sep. 2018 Criminal versatility—committing different types of crimes in different settings—can also hint at future psychopathy. Barbara Bradley Hagerty, The Atlantic, 16 May 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

History and Etymology for psychopathy

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The first known use of psychopathy was in 1847

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Cite this Entry

“Psychopathy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for psychopathy


psy·​chop·​a·​thy | \ sī-ˈkäp-ə-thē How to pronounce psychopathy (audio) \
plural psychopathies

Medical Definition of psychopathy

1 : 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
2 especially formerly : antisocial personality


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