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psych (someone or oneself) out
To psychologically manipulate or intimidate someone or oneself with the result of undermining performance or confidence. The boxer is notorious for the obnoxious and belittling taunts he uses to psych out his opponents. I got so nervous before starting the driving test that I think I just psyched myself out.
psych (someone or oneself) up
To increase someone's or one's own excitement, confidence, or mental preparation. The coach psyched us all up just before we headed out onto the field. I was pretty nervous before the test, so I took a few minutes to psych myself up before I started.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Inf. to have a nervous or emotional trauma; to go mad for a brief time. Another day like this one and I'll psych out for sure. He looked at the bill and psyched out.
2. Inf. to become very excited; to lose mental control. I was so angry, I almost psyched out. The kids were psyching out over the rock star.
psych someone out
1. Inf. to get someone very excited; to cause someone to lose mental control. Wow! What you just said really psyched me out! He psyched out his friends.
2. Inf. to figure someone out; to know how someone thinks. It took me a while to psych out Fred, but I have him figured out now. Don't waste time trying to psych me out. I am an enigma.
psych someone up
Inf. to get someone excited or mentally prepared for something. I psyched myself up to sing in front of all those people. The coach psyched up the team for the game.
Inf. to get mentally ready for something. I have to psych up before the big game tonight. We want to psych up so we can play a good game.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Analyze or understand something; also, anticipate the intentions of someone, as in It's hard to psych out the opposition's thinking, but we have to try.
2. Undermine the confidence of, intimidate. For example, The basketball team managed to psych out their opponents' guards. This expression is often used in the passive and can mean "lose one's nerve," as in After I learned that he had two doctorates in the field, I was completely psyched out . Both slangy usages date from the second half of the 1900s and allude to influencing someone psychologically.
Excite emotionally, as in The chorus was really psyched up for performing in Symphony Hall. [Slang; c. 1970]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To undermine the confidence of someone by psychological means; intimidate someone: The admissions officer really psyched me out during the interview. They psyched out the other team by chanting.
To prepare someone mentally for some task or activity: The preview psyched us up to see the film. The coach's speech psyched up the team for the game.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
in. to have a nervous or emotional trauma; to go mad for a brief time. (see also freak (out).) Another day like this one and I’ll psych out for sure.
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.
psych someone up
tv. to get someone excited or mentally prepared for something. (see also psyched (up).) I psyched myself up to sing in front of all those people.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.