Examples Word Origin
Spell Syllables
Classical Mythology. a personification of the soul, which in the form of a beautiful girl was loved by Eros.
(lowercase) the human soul, spirit, or mind.
(lowercase) Psychology, Psychoanalysis. the mental or psychological structure of a person, especially as a motive force.
Neoplatonism. the second emanation of the One, regarded as a universal consciousness and as the animating principle of the world.
a female given name.
Origin of Psyche Expand
1650-16601650-60 for def 2; < Latin psȳchē < Greek psȳchḗ literally, breath, derivative of psȳ́chein to breathe, blow, hence, live (see psycho- )
psych1or psyche
Spell Syllables
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.
Origin Expand
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- Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for psyche
Contemporary Examples
Mercury retrograde inspires you to revisit ignored destiny callings that still silently echo in your psyche.
Starsky + Cox
August 5, 2011
These pressures in the psyche are as taxing as physical hardships.
June 30, 2012
Still, the white-knight syndrome is deeply embedded in the Republican psyche.
June 22, 2010
“It took months for this initial trauma to ebb, years for my psyche to regain its equilibrium,” Sullivan writes.

Historical Examples
psyche approached it timidly, and presently found courage to enter.

Gods and Heroes
R. E. Francillon
“And you know we shall be in mourning,” said psyche to her brother.

The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
How freely psyche breathed, in the innocently white glowing fire!

Louis Couperus
Of course this isn’t all mine; it includes ma’s and psyche ‘s.

The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
The beautiful fable of the winged deity’s love for psyche, is the most pleasing of those related of him.

British Dictionary definitions for psyche
the human mind or soul
Word Origin
C17: from Latin, from Greek psukhē breath, soul; related to Greek psukhein to breathe
(Greek myth) a beautiful girl loved by Eros (Cupid), who became the personification of the soul
(transitive) ( informal) to psychoanalyse See also psych out, psych up
Word Origin
C20: shortened from psychoanalyse
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for psyche Expand
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” (cf. 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 (cf. spirit (n.)). Meaning “human soul” is from 1650s. In English, psychological sense “mind,” is attested by 1910.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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psyche in Medicine Expand
psyche psy·che (sī’kē)
The mind functioning as the center of thought, emotion, and behavior and consciously or unconsciously mediating the body’s responses to the social and physical environment.
Psyche [( seye -kee)]

In Roman mythology, a beautiful girl who was visited each night in the dark by Cupid, who told her she must not try to see him. When she did try, while he was asleep, she accidentally dropped oil from her lamp on him, and he awoke and fled. After she had performed many harsh tasks set by Cupid’s mother, Venus, Jupiter made her immortal, and she and Cupid were married. Her name is Greek for both “soul” and “butterfly.”

psyche [( seye -kee)]

The mind, soul, or spirit, as opposed to the body. In psychology, the psyche is the center of thought, feeling, and motivation, consciously and unconsciously directing the body’s reactions to its social and physical environment.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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2 thoughts on “Pysche

  1. I have a butterfly book called ‘Messages from Psyche’ by Philip Howse. It explores how butterflies exploit visual perception by using colour and pattern to confuse their predators. As well as many beautiful butterfly photos, it has illustrations showing how their patterns have influenced human art and also how artists can use deception, in works by Dali and many others.

I welcome comments and criticism

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