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

Examples of psychopathy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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, "The Dark Triad and the Evolution of Jerks," 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, "Acting like a psychopath is great for male CEOs, not so much for women," 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, "D.C. is full of psychopaths, new study says. See where your state falls on the list," 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, "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

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.

See More

First Known Use of psychopathy

1847, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for psychopathy

International Scientific Vocabulary

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about psychopathy

Share psychopathy

Statistics for psychopathy

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for psychopathy

The first known use of psychopathy was in 1847

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for psychopathy


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

Medical Definition of psychopathy

Comments on psychopathy

What made you want to look up psychopathy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!