psych someone out

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.
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, someone