psych someone out

psych (someone or oneself) out

To psychologically manipulate or intimidate someone or oneself as a means of undermining their/one's performance or confidence. The boxer is notorious for the obnoxious and belittling taunts he uses to try and psych out his opponents. I got so nervous before starting the driving test that I think I just psyched myself out.
See also: out, psych

psych someone out

tv. to try to figure out what someone is likely to do. The batter tried to psych out the pitcher, but it didn’t work.
See also: out, psych