1 [sahyk]
verb (used with object) Informal.
to intimidate or frighten psychologically, or make nervous (often followed by out ): to psych out the competition.
to prepare psychologically to be in the right frame of mind or to give one's best (often followed by up ): to psych oneself up for an interview.
to figure out psychologically; decipher (often followed by out ): to psych out a problem.
Also, psyche.

1915–20 in earlier sense “to subject to psychoanalysis”; originally a shortening of psychoanalyze; in later use (especially in defs. 1 and 2) perhaps independent use of psych- Unabridged


2 [sahyk]
noun Informal.
psychology, especially as a course or field of study: She took two semesters of psych in college.

1890–95; by shortening


variant of psycho- before some vowels: psychasthenia. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
psych or psyche (saɪk)
informal (tr) psych out See also psych up to psychoanalyse
[C20: shortened from psychoanalyse]
psyche or psyche
[C20: shortened from psychoanalyse]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

short for psychology in various senses; as an academic study, in student slang by 1895. The verb is generally negative when used transitively, positive when intransitive; first attested (also psych out) 1934 as "to outsmart," from 1963 as "to unnerve." However to psych (oneself) up is from 1972; to be
psyched up is attested from 1968.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

psych- pref.
Variant of psycho-.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. psychiatric

  2. psychiatry

  3. psychological

  4. psychologist

  5. psychology

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Pop psych lore is a bewildering mix of fact and fallacy.
No one outside jock psych seemed terribly interested in what made people screw
There were psych factors as well, but they were created by a loose money
My husband is disabled, and the pain meds and psych meds sometimes leave him
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