psychographic (adj.) Look up psychographic at
also psycho-graphic, 1856, from psychograph "supernatural photographic image," from psycho- + -graph. Related: Psychographics.
psychography (n.) Look up psychography at
1883, "history of an individual soul; the natural history of the phenomenon of mind," from psycho- + -graphy. Meaning "spirit-writing" is from 1876.
psychokinesis (n.) Look up psychokinesis at
1914 [Henry Holt, "On the Cosmic Relations"], from psycho- + kinesis. Related: Psychokinetic (1904).
psychological (adj.) Look up psychological at
1680s; see psychology + -ical. Related: Psychologically. Psychological warfare recorded from 1940. Psychological moment was in vogue from 1871, from French moment psychologique "moment of immediate expectation of something about to happen."
The original German phrase, misinterpreted by the French & imported together with its false sense into English, meant the psychic factor, the mental effect, the influence exerted by a state of mind, & not a point of time at all, das Moment in German corresponding to our momentum, not our moment. [Fowler]
psychologist (n.) Look up psychologist at
1727; see psychology + -ist.
psychology (n.) Look up psychology at
1650s, "study of the soul," from Modern Latin psychologia, probably coined mid-16c. in Germany by Melanchthon from Latinized form of Greek psykhe- "breath, spirit, soul" (see psyche) + logia "study of" (see -logy). Meaning "study of the mind" first recorded 1748, from Christian Wolff's "Psychologia empirica" (1732); main modern behavioral sense is from early 1890s.
psychometric (adj.) Look up psychometric at
also psycho-metric, 1854, from psychometry (1854), the alleged power of reading the history of an object by handling it, + -ic. In reference to the measurement of the duration of mental states, from 1879, from psycho- + -metric.
psychometrics (n.) Look up psychometrics at
"science of measuring mental processes," 1917, from psychometric; also see -ics.
psychomotor (adj.) Look up psychomotor at
also psycho-motor, 1873, from psycho- + motor (adj.).
psychopath (n.) Look up psychopath at
1885, in the criminal psychology sense, a back-formation from psychopathic.
The Daily Telegraph had, the other day, a long article commenting on a Russian woman who had murdered a little girl. A Dr. Balinsky prevailed upon the jury to give a verdict of acquittal, because she was a "psychopath." The Daily Telegraph regards this term as a new coinage, but it has been long known amongst Spiritualists, yet in another sense. ["The Medium and Daybreak," Jan. 16, 1885]
The case alluded to, and the means of acquittal, were briefly notorious in England and brought the word into currency in the modern sense.
psychopathic (adj.) Look up psychopathic at
1847, from psychopathy on model of German psychopatisch, from Greek psykhe- "mind" (see psyche) + pathos "suffering" (see pathos).
psychopathology (n.) Look up psychopathology at
1847, from psycho- + pathology, on model of German psychopathologie.
psychopathy (n.) Look up psychopathy at
1847, from psycho- + -pathy, on model of German psychopathie.
psychopharmacology (n.) Look up psychopharmacology at
also psycho-pharmacology, 1919, from psycho- + pharmacology. Related: Psychopharmacological.
psychopomp (n.) Look up psychopomp at
1835, from Greek psykhopompos "spirit-guide," a term applied to Charon, Hermes Trismegistos, Apollo; from psykhe (see psyche) + pompos "guide, conductor."
psychosexual (adj.) Look up psychosexual at
also psycho-sexual, 1891, from psycho- + sexual. Related: Psychosexually.
psychosis (n.) Look up psychosis at
1847, "mental derangement," Modern Latin, from Greek psykhe- "mind" (see psyche) + -osis "abnormal condition." Greek psykhosis meant "a giving of life; animation; principle of life."
psychosocial (adj.) Look up psychosocial at
also psycho-social, 1891, from psycho- + social (adj.).
psychosomatic (adj.) Look up psychosomatic at
1847, "pertaining to the relation between mind and body," from Greek psykhe- "mind" (see psyche) + somatikos, from soma (genitive somatos) "body" (see somato-). Applied from 1938 to physical disorders with psychological causes. Etymologically it could as easily apply to emotional disorders with physical causes, but it is rarely used as such.
psychotherapist (n.) Look up psychotherapist at
1894, from psychotherapy + -ist.
psychotherapy (n.) Look up psychotherapy at
1892 in modern sense, from psycho- + therapy, in model of French psychothérapie (1889). In early use also of hypnotism. Related: Psychotherapeutic.
psychotic (adj.) Look up psychotic at
1889, coined from psychosis, on the model of neurotic/neurosis, from Greek psykhe- "mind, soul" (see psyche).
psychotic (n.) Look up psychotic at
"a psychotic person," 1901, from psychotic (adj.).
psychotropic (adj.) Look up psychotropic at
1956, from psycho- + Greek -tropos "turning," from trepein (see trope). Hence, what "turns" the mind.
psychro- Look up psychro- at
word-forming element meaning "cold," from Latinized form of Greek psykhros "cold," from psykhrein "blow, make cool or cold," from the same root as psyche.
psychrometer (n.) Look up psychrometer at
"instrument to measure moisture in the atmosphere," 1749, from Latinized form of Greek psykhros "cold" + -meter.
psychrophobia (n.) Look up psychrophobia at
1727, from psychro- "cold" + -phobia "fear."
pt- Look up pt- at
An initial consonant combination common in Greek; the p- is typically silent in English words that have it but pronounced in French, German, etc.
ptarmic (n.) Look up ptarmic at
"substance which causes sneezing," 1680s, from noun use of Latin ptarmicus, from Greek ptarmikos "causing sneezing," from ptarmos "sneeze."
ptarmigan (n.) Look up ptarmigan at
bird of the grouse family, 1590s, from Gaelic tarmachan, of unknown origin. The pt- spelling (1680s) is a mistaken Greek construction (perhaps based on pteron "wing").
ptero- Look up ptero- at
before vowels pter-, word-forming element in science meaning "feather; wing," from comb. form of Greek pteron "wing," from PIE *pt-ero- (cognates: Sanskrit patram "wing, feather," Old Church Slavonic pero "pen," Old Norse fjöðr, Old English feðer), from root *pet- "to rush; to fly" (see petition (n.))
pterodactyl (n.) Look up pterodactyl at
extinct flying reptile, 1830, from French ptérodactyle (1821), from Modern Latin genus name Pterodactylus, from Greek pteron "wing" (see ptero-) + daktylos "finger" (see dactyl).
Ptolemaic (adj.) Look up Ptolemaic at
1670s, "of Ptolemy," Alexandrian astronomer (2c.) whose geocentric model of the universe was accepted until the time of Copernicus and Kepler. Also (1771) "of the Ptolemies," Macedonian Greek dynasty that ruled Egypt from the death of Alexander to Cleopatra. Earlier form was Ptolemaean (1640s).
Ptolemy Look up Ptolemy at
ancient masc. proper name, from Greek Ptolemaios, literally "warlike," from ptolemos, collateral form of polemos "war." Also see Ptolemaic.
ptomaine (n.) Look up ptomaine at
1880, from Italian ptomaina, coined by Professor Francesco Selmi of Bologna, 1878, from Greek ptoma "corpse," on notion of poison produced in decaying matter. Greek ptoma is literally "a fall, a falling," via the notion of "fallen thing, fallen body;" nominal derivative of piptein "to fall" (see symptom). Incorrectly formed, and Selmi is roundly scolded for it in OED, which says proper Greek would be *ptomatine.
ptosis (n.) Look up ptosis at
1743, from Greek ptosis, literally "falling, a fall," also "the case of a noun," nominal derivative of piptein "to fall" (see symptom). In English, especially of the eyelid. Related: Ptotic.
pub (n.) Look up pub at
1859, slang shortening of public house (see public (adj.)), which originally meant "any building open to the public" (1570s), then "inn that provides food and is licensed to sell ale, wine, and spirits" (1660s), and finally "tavern" (1768). Pub crawl first attested 1910 in British slang.
puberty (n.) Look up puberty at
"the time of life in which the two sexes begin first to be acquainted" [Johnson], late 14c., from Old French puberté and directly from Latin pubertatem (nominative pubertas) "age of maturity, manhood," from pubes (genitive pubertis) "adult, full-grown, manly." Related: Puberal; pubertal.
pubes (n.) Look up pubes at
1560s, "pubic hair," from Latin pubes "pubescent, arrived at the age of puberty, of ripe years, grown up," also, as a noun, "a sign of puberty" (such as pubic hair), also "young men of the age of puberty" (see puberty). In 19c. also "pubic bone," and earlier "part of either hip bone that forms the front of the pelvis," from Latin os pubis, from pubes "genital area." In modern slang, monosyllable, a familiar shortening of pubic hairs (see pubic).
pubescence (n.) Look up pubescence at
early 15c., Middle French pubescence, from Medieval Latin pubescentia, noun of state from Latin pubescentem (nominative pubescens), present participle of pubescere "grow up; ripen, come to maturity; reach the age of puberty, arrive at puberty," from pubes "adult, full-grown" (see puberty).
pubescent (adj.) Look up pubescent at
1610s, a back-formation from pubescence, or else from French pubescent (early 16c.) or directly from Latin pubescentem (nominative pubescens), present participle of pubescere "to reach puberty" (see pubescence).
pubic (adj.) Look up pubic at
1811, with -ic + medical Latin pubis "bone of the groin" (1590s), short for Latin os pubis, from Latin pubes (genitive pubis) "genital area, groin," related to pubes (adj.) "full-grown" (see puberty).
public (adj.) Look up public at
late 14c., "open to general observation," from Old French public (c. 1300) and directly from Latin publicus "of the people; of the state; done for the state," also "common, general, public; ordinary, vulgar," and as a noun, "a commonwealth; public property," altered (probably by influence of Latin pubes "adult population, adult") from Old Latin poplicus "pertaining to the people," from populus "people" (see people (n.)).

Early 15c. as "pertaining to the people." From late 15c. as "pertaining to public affairs;" meaning "open to all in the community" is from 1540s in English. An Old English adjective in this sense was folclic. Public relations first recorded 1913 (after an isolated use by Thomas Jefferson in 1807). Public office "position held by a public official" is from 1821; public service is from 1570s; public interest from 1670s. Public-spirited is from 1670s. Public enemy is attested from 1756. Public sector attested from 1949. Public funds (1713) are the funded debts of a government.

Public school is from 1570s, originally, in Britain, a grammar school endowed for the benefit of the public, but most have evolved into boarding-schools for the well-to-do. The main modern meaning in U.S., "school (usually free) provided at public expense and run by local authorities," is attested from 1640s. For public house, see pub.
public (n.) Look up public at
"the community," 1610s, from public (adj.); meaning "people in general" is from 1660s. In public "in public view, publicly" is attested from c. 1500.
publican (n.) Look up publican at
c. 1200, "tax-gatherer," from Old French publician (12c.), from Latin publicanus "a tax collector," noun use of an adjective, "pertaining to public revenue," from publicum "public revenue," noun use of neuter of publicus (see public (adj.)). Original sense in Matt. xviii:17, etc.; meaning "keeper of a pub" first recorded 1728, from public (house) + -an.
publication (n.) Look up publication at
late 14c., "the act of making publicly known," from Old French publicacion (14c.) and directly from Latin publicationem (nominative publicatio) "a making public," noun of action from past participle stem of publicare "make public," from publicus (see public (adj.)). Meaning "the issuing of a written or printed work" is first recorded 1570s; as the word for the thing so issued, from 1650s. Parallel publishment had a shadowy existence alongside this word, in local and specialized use, into the 18c.
publicise (v.) Look up publicise at
chiefly British English spelling of publicize. For suffix, see -ize. Related: Publicised; publicising.
publicist (n.) Look up publicist at
1792, "person learned in public law or the law of nations," from public (adj.) + -ist. Also from 1795 in English as "writer on current topics," from French publiciste; in either case a hybrid.
Then crept in the "loose" usage. Anybody who wrote or spoke about public affairs came to be dubbed a publicist. It was only a question of time when the dam would give way and the word flow in all directions and be made to cover every kind of talent, or lack of it. ["The Nation," Nov. 22, 1917]
Meaning "press agent" is from 1925 (publicity agent attested by 1900); publicitor also was tried in this sense.
publicity (n.) Look up publicity at
1791, "condition of being public," from French publicité (1690s), from Medieval Latin publicitatem (nominative publicitas), from Latin publicus (see public (adj.)). Sense of "a making (something) known, an exposure to the public" is from 1826, shading by c. 1900 into "advertising, business of promotion." Publicity stunt first recorded 1908.
publicization (n.) Look up publicization at
"act of publicizing," 1962, noun of action from publicize. There is a 1907 use in the sense "a making public" (of bridges built privately, etc.).