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From Ancient Greek ψυχικός (psukhikós, relative to the soul, spirit, mind). Earlier referred to as "psychical"; or from Ancient Greek ψυχή (psukhḗ, soul, mind, psyche). First appeared (as substantive) 1871 and first records 1895.[1]


  • IPA(key): /ˈsaɪkɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪkɪk


psychic (plural psychics)

  1. A person who possesses, or appears to possess, extra-sensory abilities such as precognition, clairvoyance and telepathy, or who appears to be susceptible to paranormal or supernatural influences.
  2. (parapsychology) A person who supposedly contacts the dead; a medium.
  3. (Gnosticism) In gnostic theologian Valentinus' triadic grouping of man the second type; a person focused on intellectual reality (the other two being hylic and pneumatic).



psychic (comparative more psychic, superlative most psychic)

  1. Relating to or having the abilities of a psychic.
    • 1926, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Land of Mist[1]:
      Having exhausted the sporting adventures of this terrestrial globe, he is now turning to those of the dim, dark and dubious regions of psychic research.
    You must be psychic—I was just about to say that.
    She is a psychic person—she hears messages from beyond.
  2. Relating to the psyche or mind, or to mental activity in general.
    • 1913, Abraham Brill, translator, The Interpretation of Dreams, translation of original by Sigmund Freud:
      In the following pages I shall demonstrate that there is a psychological technique which makes it possible to interpret dreams, and that on the application of this technique every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance, and one which may be assigned to a specific place in the psychic activities of the waking state.
    • 1967, R. D. Laing, The Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise:
      A pathological process called 'psychiatrosis' may well be found, by the same methods, to be a delineable entity, with somatic correlates, and psychic mechanisms []

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  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “psychic”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.