psy·​cho·​sur·​gery ˌsī-kō-ˈsər-jə-rē How to pronounce psychosurgery (audio)
: cerebral surgery employed in treating psychic symptoms
psychosurgeon noun
psychosurgical adjective

Examples of psychosurgery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1941, Freeman, together with a young neurosurgeon named James Watts, performed psychosurgery on a 23-year-old Rosemary Kennedy, whose father, Joseph, feared that the combination of her nascent sexuality and intellectual slowness might bring embarrassment to the Kennedy name. Daphne Merkin, The Atlantic, 10 July 2022 In other words, H.M. was an epileptic who underwent experimental psychosurgery with no clear medical rationale. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 2 July 2016 The fascination with psychedelic drugs, psychosurgery, brain-stimulation devices, intravenous infusions, etc., is symptomatic of the current mental health crisis. New York Times, 31 May 2018 Although Moniz would share the 1949 Nobel Prize in medicine for his pioneering work in psychosurgery, the lobotomy had not only fallen out of favor by the 1950s but was being excoriated as a barbaric practice. Tony Long, WIRED, 12 Nov. 2010

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'psychosurgery.' 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

1936, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of psychosurgery was in 1936

Dictionary Entries Near psychosurgery

Cite this Entry

“Psychosurgery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


psy·​cho·​sur·​gery -ˈsərj-(ə-)rē How to pronounce psychosurgery (audio)
plural psychosurgeries
: cerebral surgery employed in treating psychic symptoms
psychosurgical adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on psychosurgery

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!