Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: men·tal
Pronunciation: /ˈmen(t)l

Definition of mental in English:


1Of or relating to the mind: mental faculties mental phenomena
More example sentences
  • Brentano did in fact hold that every mental phenomenon is an object of inner consciousness.
  • Why do you invest even one brain cell of your mental capital on figuring out his motivation?
  • The illness of a relative meant that we, his family, were fully aware of his abhorrence of the loss of mental faculty.
intellectual, cerebral, brain, rational, cognitive
1.1Carried out by or taking place in the mind: a quick mental calculation I started my mental journey
More example sentences
  • I made a mental note to ring her back and let her know about all that was going on.
  • She made a mental note on her mind to inquire about his personal life more when she sees him again.
  • Not especially in a mood to linger and look around I made a mental note to return in a better frame of mind.
2Of or relating to disorders of the mind: a mental hospital
More example sentences
  • During her time as a patient no treatment for mental disorder or illness was given.
  • Indeed, psychiatrists do not talk of insanity but prefer to use terms such as mental illness or mental disorder.
  • Nowadays, music is both applied for patients with mental disorders and healthy people.
2.1 [predicative] informal Insane; crazy: every time I’m five minutes late, they go mental
More example sentences
  • That's one of the dangers for young actors - you get a bit of financial success and you go mental and blow it all.
  • As a symbol of Stein's greatness and a cue for the home fans to go mental, nothing beats the sight of that big silver pot.
  • I've never really got into them that much, so I let other people go mental and bought a couple of beers.


late Middle English: from late Latin mentalis, from Latin mens, ment- 'mind'.


The use of mental in compounds such as mental hospital and mental patient is first recorded at the end of the 19th century and was the normal accepted term in the first half of the 20th century. It is still current and standard even though the term psychiatric has more recently come to be used in both general and official use.

Definition of mental in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day vicarious
Pronunciation: vɪˈkɛːrɪəs
experienced in the imagination through another person's feelings…