psilo- Look up psilo- at
before vowels psil-, word-forming element meaning "stripped, bare," from Greek psilos "bare, naked; mere," perhaps akin to psen "to rub," and both or either perhaps from PIE root *bhes- "to rub" (source also of Greek psamathos "sand;" see sand (n.)).
psilocybin (n.) Look up psilocybin at
1958, from Modern Latin psilocybe, name of a Central American species of mushroom, from Greek psilos "bare" (see psilo-) + kybe "head."
psilosis (n.) Look up psilosis at
"loss of hair through disease," 1837, medical Latin, from Greek psilosis "a stripping of hair," from psiloun "to strip of hair," from psilos "bare" (see psilo-).
psionic (adj.) Look up psionic at
1952, from psi + ending from electronic, etc.
psittacine (adj.) Look up psittacine at
"pertaining to parrots," 1826, from Latin psittacinus, from psittacus "parrot," from Greek psittakos "a parrot," said to be a foreign word.
psittacism (n.) Look up psittacism at
"mere parroting, parrotry, repetition without reasoning," 1884, from French psittacisme (Liebnitz, 1765) or German psittazismus, from Latin psittacus "parrot" (see psittacine) + -ism.
psoas (n.) Look up psoas at
1680s, from Greek psoa (plural psoai) "muscles of the loins." Related: Psoitis.
Gk. [psoas], the gen. of the feminine noun [psoa], was mistaken by the French anatomist Jean Riolan (1577-1657) for the nom. of a (nonexistent) masculine noun. It was he who introduced this erroneous form into anatomy. [Klein]
psoriasis (n.) Look up psoriasis at
1680s, from medical Latin psoriasis, in Late Latin "mange, scurvy," from Greek psoriasis "being itchy," from psorian "to have the itch," from psora "itch, mange, scab," related to psen "to rub" (see psilo-). Related: Psoriatic.
psych Look up psych at
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.
psyche (n.) Look up psyche at
1640s, "animating spirit," from Latin psyche, from Greek psykhe "the soul, mind, spirit; breath; life, one's life, the invisible animating principle or entity which occupies and directs the physical body; understanding" (personified as Psykhe, the beloved of Eros), akin to psykhein "to blow, cool," from PIE root *bhes- "to blow, to breathe" (source also of Sanskrit bhas-), "Probably imitative" [Watkins].

Also in ancient Greek, "departed soul, spirit, ghost," and often represented symbolically as a butterfly or moth. The word had extensive sense development in Platonic philosophy and Jewish-influenced theological writing of St. Paul (compare spirit (n.)). Meaning "human soul" is from 1650s. In English, psychological sense "mind," is attested by 1910.
psychedelia (n.) Look up psychedelia at
1967, from psychedelic + -ia.
psychedelic (adj.) Look up psychedelic at
occasionally psychodelic, 1956, of drugs, suggested by British-born Canadian psychiatrist Humphry Osmond (1917-2004) in a letter to Aldous Huxley and used by Osmond in a scientific paper published the next year; from Greek psykhe- "mind" (see psyche) + deloun "make visible, reveal," from delos "visible, clear," from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine." In popular use from 1965 with reference to anything producing effects similar to that of a psychedelic drug or enhancing the effects of such a drug. As a noun from 1956.
psychedelicize (v.) Look up psychedelicize at
1966, from psychedelic + -ize. Related: Psychedelicized; psychedelicizing.
psychiatric (adj.) Look up psychiatric at
1847, from French psychiatrique or else coined in English from psychiatry + -ic.
psychiatrist (n.) Look up psychiatrist at
1875, from psychiatry + -ist.
A psychiatrist is a man who goes to the Folies Bergère and looks at the audience. [Anglican Bishop Mervyn Stockwood, 1961]
An older name was mad-doctor (1703); also psychiater "expert in mental diseases" (1852), from Greek psyche + iatros. Also see alienist.
psychiatry (n.) Look up psychiatry at
1846, from French psychiatrie, from Medieval Latin psychiatria, literally "a healing of the soul," from Latinized form of Greek psykhe- "mind" (see psyche) + iatreia "healing, care" (see -iatric).
psychic (adj.) Look up psychic at
1872, "of or pertaining to the human soul" (earlier psychical, 1640s), from Greek psykhikos "of the soul, spirit, or mind" (opposed to somatikos), also (New Testament) "concerned with the life only, animal, natural," from psykhe "soul, mind, life" (see psyche). Meaning "characterized by psychic gifts" first recorded 1871.
psychic (n.) Look up psychic at
"a medium;" 1870; see psychic (adj.).
psycho (adj.) Look up psycho at
1927, shortening of psychological; 1936 (Raymond Chandler) as shortening of psychopathic (adj.).
psycho (n.) Look up psycho at
1925, short for psychologist; as short for psychopath from 1942.
psycho- Look up psycho- at
word-forming element meaning "mind, mental; spirit, unconscious," from Greek psykho-, combining form of psykhe (see psyche). It also was used to form compounds in Greek, such as psychapates "soul-beguiling" (with apate "deceit").
psycho-history (n.) Look up psycho-history at
1934, from psycho- + history.
psychoactive (adj.) Look up psychoactive at
also psycho-active, 1959, from psycho- + active.
psychoanalysis (n.) Look up psychoanalysis at
1906, from Psychoanalyse, coined 1896 in French by Freud from Latinized form of Greek psykhe- "mental" (see psyche) + German Analyse, from Greek analysis (see analysis). Freud earlier used psychische analyse (1894).
psychoanalyst (n.) Look up psychoanalyst at
also psycho-analyst, 1910; see psycho- + analyst.
psychoanalytic (adj.) Look up psychoanalytic at
1902, from psychoanalysis + -ic.
psychoanalyze (v.) Look up psychoanalyze at
also psycho-analyse, psychoanalyse, 1911; see psycho- + analyze. Related: Psychoanalyzed; psychoanalyzing. Earlier was psychologize (1830).
psychobabble (n.) Look up psychobabble at
1976, from psycho- (representing psychology) + babble (n.). Earlier was psychologese (1961).
psychodrama (n.) Look up psychodrama at
also psycho-drama, 1937 (in writing of U.S. psychiatrist Jacob L. Moreno (1889-1974)), from psycho- + drama. Related: Psychodramatic.
psychodynamic (adj.) Look up psychodynamic at
also psycho-dynamic, 1856, from psycho- + dynamic (adj.).
psychogenesis (n.) Look up psychogenesis at
also psycho-genesis, 1838, "origin of the soul or mind," from psycho- + -genesis "birth, origin, creation." Related: Psychogenetic; psychogenetical.
psychogenic (adj.) Look up psychogenic at
1884, from psycho- + -genic.
psychographic (adj.) Look up psychographic at
also psycho-graphic, 1856, from psychograph "supernatural photographic image," from psycho- + -graph. Related: Psychographics.
psychography (n.) Look up psychography at
1883, "history of an individual soul; the natural history of the phenomenon of mind," from psycho- + -graphy. Meaning "spirit-writing" is from 1876.
psychokinesis (n.) Look up psychokinesis at
1914 [Henry Holt, "On the Cosmic Relations"], from psycho- + kinesis. Related: Psychokinetic (1904).
psychological (adj.) Look up psychological at
1680s; see psychology + -ical. Related: Psychologically. Psychological warfare recorded from 1940. Psychological moment was in vogue from 1871, from French moment psychologique "moment of immediate expectation of something about to happen."
The original German phrase, misinterpreted by the French & imported together with its false sense into English, meant the psychic factor, the mental effect, the influence exerted by a state of mind, & not a point of time at all, das Moment in German corresponding to our momentum, not our moment. [Fowler]
psychologist (n.) Look up psychologist at
1727; see psychology + -ist.
psychology (n.) Look up psychology at
1650s, "study of the soul," from Modern Latin psychologia, probably coined mid-16c. in Germany by Melanchthon from Latinized form of Greek psykhe- "breath, spirit, soul" (see psyche) + logia "study of" (see -logy). Meaning "study of the mind" first recorded 1748, from Christian Wolff's "Psychologia empirica" (1732); main modern behavioral sense is from early 1890s.
psychometric (adj.) Look up psychometric at
also psycho-metric, 1854, from psychometry (1854), the alleged power of reading the history of an object by handling it, + -ic. In reference to the measurement of the duration of mental states, from 1879, from psycho- + -metric.
psychometrics (n.) Look up psychometrics at
"science of measuring mental processes," 1917, from psychometric; also see -ics.
psychomotor (adj.) Look up psychomotor at
also psycho-motor, 1873, from psycho- + motor (adj.).
psychopath (n.) Look up psychopath at
1885, in the criminal psychology sense, a back-formation from psychopathic.
The Daily Telegraph had, the other day, a long article commenting on a Russian woman who had murdered a little girl. A Dr. Balinsky prevailed upon the jury to give a verdict of acquittal, because she was a "psychopath." The Daily Telegraph regards this term as a new coinage, but it has been long known amongst Spiritualists, yet in another sense. ["The Medium and Daybreak," Jan. 16, 1885]
The case alluded to, and the means of acquittal, were briefly notorious in England and brought the word into currency in the modern sense.
psychopathic (adj.) Look up psychopathic at
1847, from psychopathy on model of German psychopatisch, from Greek psykhe "mind" (see psyche) + pathos "suffering" (from PIE root *kwent(h)- "to suffer").
psychopathology (n.) Look up psychopathology at
1847, from psycho- + pathology, on model of German psychopathologie.
psychopathy (n.) Look up psychopathy at
1847, from psycho- + -pathy, on model of German psychopathie.
psychopharmacology (n.) Look up psychopharmacology at
also psycho-pharmacology, 1919, from psycho- + pharmacology. Related: Psychopharmacological.
psychopomp (n.) Look up psychopomp at
1835, from Greek psykhopompos "spirit-guide," a term applied to Charon, Hermes Trismegistos, Apollo; from psykhe (see psyche) + pompos "guide, conductor."
psychosexual (adj.) Look up psychosexual at
also psycho-sexual, 1891, from psycho- + sexual. Related: Psychosexually.
psychosis (n.) Look up psychosis at
1847, "mental derangement," Modern Latin, from Greek psykhe- "mind" (see psyche) + -osis "abnormal condition." Greek psykhosis meant "a giving of life; animation; principle of life."
psychosocial (adj.) Look up psychosocial at
also psycho-social, 1891, from psycho- + social (adj.).