Definition of psych in English:

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Pronunciation: /sīk/
(also psyche)


1 [with object] informal Mentally prepare (someone) for a testing task or occasion: we had to psych ourselves up for the race
More example sentences
  • The Dublin team was clearly psyched up in preparation for the early exchanges and a Paul Gibbons miscalculation presented them with a scoring opportunity that was smothered by Gavin Dowling.
  • Along the way, which was only a five minute drive, Lyle silently listened to the uplifting music, and mentally psyched himself up for the date that was less than half an hour away from taking place.
  • It was a big disappointment because we'd been psyching ourselves up for it.
nerve oneself, steel oneself, brace oneself, summon one's courage, prepare oneself, gear oneself up, urge oneself on, gird (up) one's loins
2 (usually psyche) [no object] Bridge Make a psychic bid.
Example sentences
  • I don't think it is any more unsportsmanlike to psych against a pair that may not be able to field it than it is to bid an aggressive contract that might require some help from the defense.
  • Stanford reached 4S after the auction began p-p-p-1S; Berkeley reached the same spot but only after Altus had been allowed to psych a 1D opening with the east cards, a point which may have had some influence on the play.


1 informal short for psychiatrist or psychologist.
Example sentences
  • There appears to have been a concerted effort to make this a professional publication, but without many of the psycho-babble words you often hear psychs using.
  • And the psych said the screaming was probably from the trauma of being shot.
  • During the interview after doing a brief 10 min test the psych said I would have difficulty in dealing with the course.
1.1 short for psychiatry or psychology.
Example sentences
  • The med/psych and the law / psych degrees are two completely different courses which are available.
  • She was only one of the six other girls in that psych class.
  • In sports psych lingo, this is referred to as ‘facilitation versus debilitation.’
2 (usually psyche) Bridge A psychic bid.
Example sentences
  • So if someone psyches against you, don't get annoyed, it is just part of bridge: perhaps you might try a psyche yourself next time you play against them!
  • Whilst psyches are a legal and legitimate part of the game of bridge, and as such, are permissible within BCL, the guidelines of the WBF state that "the laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge 1997 permit a player to make a psychic call provided that such calls are not based on a partnership understanding."


1 informal short for psychiatric.
Example sentences
  • Soon I was back on the psych ward, and I was scared.
  • As he tells it in Nervous System, things spiralled out of control and eventually, after a suicide attempt, Jensen found himself in a psych ward, as much absorbed in his delusions as the new life unfolding around him.
  • Being confined does weird things to your sense of self, taking away your freedom makes you afraid of it, afraid of wide open spaces when what you've known for five weeks are the hallway, OT room, and sitting area of the psych ward.
2 short for psychedelic. a rare old psych album
More example sentences
  • So, under the assumption that he's a nice guy, I'm willing to forgive Smith's under-interview transgressions and just take his album for what it is: a pretty neat modern psych album.
  • They know exactly when to unleash the bombastic, fuzzy electric guitar to propel a sunny-day strummer to psych rock heaven.
  • It's essentially electronic music with a strong influence from a whole range of other styles, everything from hip-hop to country to psych rock to free jazz - and it's all instrumental.

Phrasal verbs


psych someone out

Intimidate an opponent or rival by appearing confident or aggressive: guys who try to lift heavy weights in a mistaken attempt to psych out the other guys
More example sentences
  • If they do not, there is a very real danger that, just as in 1991, they will be psyched out of a World Cup win, having paid too much attention to voices beyond the camp.
  • I got a good move to West Ham and broke my leg twice, I got to the World Cup semi-final and missed a penalty, and now I have been psyched out by Dave Beasant!
  • He added, ‘Those players weren't bad but I think they were psyched out.’
intimidate, daunt, browbeat, bully, cow, tyrannize, scare, terrorize, frighten, dishearten, unnerve, subdue
informal bulldoze

psych something out

informal Analyze something in psychological terms.
Example sentences
  • It was as though the dragon was attempting to psyche his foes out before the confrontation even started in the heat of the desert.
  • With Trescothick out of the Test and probably the series with injury, the young off-spinner should have had no trouble in psyching the English batsmen out.
  • But he takes more wickets because he psyches batsmen out.

Words that rhyme with psych

alike, bike, haik, hike, like, mic, mike, mislike, pike, psyche, shrike, spike, strike, trike, tyke, Van Dyck, vandyke

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: psych

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