"disposition to promote the public interest, public spirit," 1690s, from public (adj.) in the sense of "directed to the interests of the community at large."
a transliteration of Greek daimōn "lesser god, guiding spirit, tutelary deity," 1852; see demon. Employed to avoid the post-classical associations of demon. Related: Daimonic.
word-forming element meaning "mind, mental; spirit, unconscious," from Greek combining form of psykhē "the soul, mind, spirit; life, one's life, the invisible animating principle or entity which occupies and directs the physical body; understanding, the mind (as the seat of thought), faculty of reason" (see psyche). It also was used to form compounds in Greek, such as psychapates "soul-beguiling" (with apate "deceit").