psy·​cho·​phar·​ma·​col·​o·​gy ˌsī-kō-ˌfär-mə-ˈkä-lə-jē How to pronounce psychopharmacology (audio)
: the study of the effect of drugs on the mind and behavior
psychopharmacological adjective
or less commonly psychopharmacologic
psychopharmacologist noun

Examples of psychopharmacology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dr James Rucker, a consultant psychiatrist and senior clinical lecturer in mood disorders and psychopharmacology at King’s College London, has been working on similar studies in the UK. Sarah Sinclair, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 If, as your book argues, when psychedelics came to play a role in hedonism and countercultural values in the ’60s and ’70s, this was the end of an era rather than a new beginning — how does that illuminate our current era of psychopharmacology? David Lipset, Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2024 Roland majored in psychology at Occidental College in Los Angeles and studied psychopharmacology at the University of Minnesota, earning his Ph.D. there in 1972. Penelope Green, New York Times, 17 Oct. 2023 This happens in discussions of psychopharmacology, genetic engineering, brain implants, artificial intelligence and other technologies that might, in principle (that wonderful, all-purpose fudge factor), boost our cognitive and physiological abilities. John Horgan, Scientific American, 23 Jan. 2021 The advent of modern psychopharmacology and the rise of short-term cognitive behavioral therapy made Freud’s clinical legacy seem to many fuzzy, or worse, quaint. Joseph Bernstein, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2023 As a result of the serendipitous discovery of iproniazid as an antidepressant and the ensuing advances in psychiatric drugs, the 1950s are considered the golden decade of psychopharmacology. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 27 Jan. 2016 Most of them are described in loving detail in the two heroic epics of psychopharmacology, PIKHaL and TIKHaL, written by chemists and trip veterans Alexander and Ann Shulgin. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 30 Aug. 2010 Psychiatry is now nearly synonymous with psychopharmacology. Richard J. McNally, WSJ, 13 May 2022

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

Word History

First Known Use

1920, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of psychopharmacology was in 1920

Dictionary Entries Near psychopharmacology

Cite this Entry

“Psychopharmacology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


psy·​cho·​phar·​ma·​col·​o·​gy ˌsī-kō-ˌfär-mə-ˈkäl-ə-jē How to pronounce psychopharmacology (audio)
plural psychopharmacologies
: the study of the effect of drugs on the mind and behavior

More from Merriam-Webster on psychopharmacology

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