What Does Psychic Mean? Definition and Examples 

Updated July 29, 2021
Psychic medium reading future

The word psychic can refer to phenomena and abilities that are beyond what is perceived by the five senses or explainable by science, or it can refer to a person who has these abilities. It can also be an adjective referring to qualities of the soul.

Definition of Psychic as a Noun

When psychic is used as a noun, it refers to a person who has psychic abilities. These psychic abilities may manifest in various ways, but the thread tying them all together is that the information comes from somewhere other than what the person receiving the information can observe using his or her five physical senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell). When apparently truthful and verifiable information comes to someone from somewhere outside of the realm of scientifically observable phenomena without a scientific explanation, then that person is said to display psychic ability.

Some examples of this may include the following:

  • Communication with someone who has passed away via mediumship
  • Communication with animals
  • Knowing information about how others are thinking or feeling without any physical cues
  • Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or sensing sensory information without any actual physical input (such as feeling someone touching you without anyone physically doing so, or hearing someone speak when nobody is nearby speaking)
  • Being able to intuitively understand medical issues as part of an energy healing practice

These are but a few of the many ways psychic phenomena manifest in the physical world.

Psychic Meaning When Used as an Adjective

When the term psychic is used as an adjective, it may have two different meanings.

Of the Spirit

Sometimes, the term psychic is used to describe qualities of the soul or of the spirit. For example, one might say of someone who is experiencing a dark night of the soul or an existential crisis, "He is experiencing psychic pain."

Relating to Unexplainable Phenomena

You may also see psychic used as an adjective to describe something arising from an unexplainable source. For example, "She seems to receive psychic information when she meditates." In this case, it suggests the information comes from the ethers, as opposed to any physically or scientifically verifiable source.

Psychic Terminology

The term psychic originated with the Greek word psykhikos, which meant, "of the soul, mind, or spirit." Like its root word, the term as used today continues to describe information coming from these places and the people who receive that information.

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What Does Psychic Mean? Definition and Examples