Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.