Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[sahyk-out] /ˈsaɪkˌaʊt/
noun, Informal.
an act or instance of psyching out.
Origin of psych-out
1960-65; noun use of verb phrase psych out


or psyche

[sahyk] /saɪk/
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.
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
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for psych-out


(transitive) (informal) to psychoanalyse See also psych out, psych up
Word Origin
C20: shortened from psychoanalyse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for psych-out


as a noun, short for psychology in various senses (e.g. as an academic study, in student slang by 1895). As a verb, first attested 1917 as "to subject to psychoanalysis," short for psychoanalyze. From 1934 as "to outsmart" (also psych out); 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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for psych-out



Psychiatry; psychiatric: makes it down from the psych ward on the 15th floor (1940s+)


Psychology, esp as an academic study (1895+ College students)


  1. (also psych out) To outsmart another person: The bastards psyched me (1934+ College students)
  2. To sense or infer the motives, behavior, etc, of others; feel out a situation: an uncanny ability to ''psych out'' audiences and make them love her (1961+)
  3. To unnerve someone; cause someone to lose composure, will, skill, etc: He won't psych me as he did her (1960s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for psych-out


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for psych-out

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for psych

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for psych-out