psy·​chot·​ic sī-ˈkä-tik How to pronounce psychotic (audio)
medical : of, relating to, marked by, or affected with psychosis
a psychotic patient
psychotic behavior
sometimes offensive : exhibiting or suggestive of mental or emotional unsoundness or instability
not used technically

Note: The nontechnical use of psychotic is increasingly viewed as a trivialization of mental illness.

psychotic noun
plural psychotics
psychotically adverb

Examples of psychotic in a Sentence

He was diagnosed as psychotic. a psychotic patient who was recently admitted
Recent Examples on the Web The counselor also told police Trotman had had a previous psychotic break in which he was found wandering the woods. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2023 Lewis prescribed Price anti-psychotic medication after a mental health referral Sept. 1. Thomas Saccente, Arkansas Online, 17 Jan. 2023 Upon arrival, body camera video footage and audio show Terrell was confused and potentially in the midst of a psychotic break. The Arizona Republic, 5 Jan. 2023 However, the increase was accounted for by the rise in non-psychotic patients, and there was a rise in the rate of people with only anxiety disorders. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 3 Aug. 2011 Consumption may increase manic and psychotic symptoms, and there may be a greater risk of suicide. Gary Stix, Scientific American, 29 Nov. 2022 The traditional anti-psychotic Haldol for example can cause severe Parkinson’s symptoms in patients with Lewy body dementia, but not in a patient with Alzheimer’s disease. Gretchen Cuda Kroen, cleveland, 18 Nov. 2022 Stories started getting a little more gothic and grittier, the longtime villains a little more unstable and psychotic. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 23 Feb. 2022 There was also a small, but worrisome risk of being diagnosed with a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia or delusional thinking. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 18 Aug. 2022 See More

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

circa 1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of psychotic was circa 1890

Dictionary Entries Near psychotic

Cite this Entry

“Psychotic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: of, relating to, or marked by psychosis


2 of 2 noun
: a psychotic person

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
psy·​chot·​ic sī-ˈkät-ik How to pronounce psychotic (audio)
: of, relating to, marked by, or affected with psychosis
psychotically adverb


2 of 2 noun
: a psychotic individual

More from Merriam-Webster on psychotic

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