[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."
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-


[sahyk] /saɪk/
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:


Example Sentences for psych
Pop psych lore is a bewildering mix of fact and fallacy.
No one outside jock psych seemed terribly interested in what made people screw up.
There were psych factors as well, but they were created by a loose money environment.
My husband is disabled, and the pain meds and psych meds sometimes leave him forgetful.
We got the poster at a developmental psych online store.
Their lessons focused in part on ways to psych-out what kind of question it was and the answer the testers were looking for.
She spent a week at a mental health center, in the drooling stupor that is ubiquitous among psych patients here.
Put simply, evo psych posits that favorable traits during our hunter-gatherer days persisted in our modern contexts.
British Dictionary definitions for psych
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for psych
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
Cite This Source
psych in Medicine

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.
Cite This Source
Slang related to psych



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+)

Dictionary of American Slang
Copyright © 1986 by HarperCollins Publishers
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for psych




  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.
Cite This Source

Rhymes with psych

Difficulty index for psych

Some English speakers likely know this word

Tile value for psych

Scrabble Words With Friends