from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The spirit or soul.
  • n. Psychiatry The mind functioning as the center of thought, emotion, and behavior and consciously or unconsciously adjusting or mediating the body's responses to the social and physical environment.
  • v. Variant of psych.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The human soul, mind, or spirit.
  • n. The human mind as the central force in thought, emotion, and behavior of an individual.
  • abbr. psychology
  • interj. Used abruptly after a sentence to indicate that the speaker is only joking.
  • v. To put (someone) into a required psychological frame of mind.
  • v. To intimidate (someone) emotionally using psychology.
  • v. To treat (someone) using psychoanalysis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A lovely maiden, daughter of a king and mistress of Eros, or Cupid. She is regarded as the personification of the soul.
  • n. The soul; the vital principle; the mind.
  • n. A cheval glass.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In classical mythology, the personified and deified soul or spirit, the beloved of Eros, by whom she was alternately caressed and tormented.
  • n. [lowercase] The human soul or spirit or mind.
  • n. The 16th planetoid, discovered by De Gasparis at Naples in 1852.
  • n. In zoology: In entomology, a genus of bombycid moths, erected by Schrank in 1801 (after Linnæus, 1735), and typical of the family Psychidæ.
  • n. In conchology, a genus of gymnosomatous pteropods of the family Eurybiidæ. Also called Halopsyche.
  • n. [lowercase] In anatomy, the cerebrospinal nervous system: in Haeckel's vocabulary applied to the brain and spinal cord as the physiological center of the nervous system, in the activities of which he supposed the soul or spirit to subsist.
  • n. [lowercase] A large mirror, in which the whole person can be seen, usually hung on pivots at the sides, the whole being supported in a movable frame.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. that which is responsible for one's thoughts and feelings; the seat of the faculty of reason
  • n. the immaterial part of a person; the actuating cause of an individual life
  • n. (Greek mythology) a beautiful princess loved by Cupid who visited her at night and told her she must not try to see him; became the personification of the soul


Latin psȳchē, from Greek psūkhē, soul; see bhes- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin psychē, from Ancient Greek ψυχή (psyche, "soul, breath") (Wiktionary)
Shortened form of psychology, from French psychologie, from Latin psychologia, from Ancient Greek ψυχή (psuchē, "soul") and -λογία (-logia, "study of") (Wiktionary)



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  • Greek Butterfly.

    Speaking of where words came from...

    July 11, 2008

  • See discussion at sike, subtitled "Why Uselessness Is Right And You Are Wrong." ;-)

    October 16, 2007

  • You're right, they probably don't understand where the slang came from. These crazy kids on teh Interwebs... ;)

    October 16, 2007

  • On the internet I keep seeing people try to use this in the retro slang sense-- "Psyche!" meaning "Just kidding!"-- but spelling it "Sike", as though perhaps they never understood where the slang came from...

    October 16, 2007