Definition: Psychedelic

From New World Encyclopedia


From Ancient Greek ψυχή (psukhḗ, “mind, soul”) + δῆλος (dêlos, “manifest, visible”) + -ic. Coined by English psychiatrist Humphry Osmond in 1956 in a letter to Aldous Huxley.


psychedelic (comparative more psychedelic, superlative most psychedelic)

  1. Of, containing or generating hallucinations, distortions of perception, altered awareness, etc.
  2. (of graphics, etc.) Having bright colors, abstract shapes, etc. reminiscent of drug-induced hallucinations or distortions of perception.

Derived terms


psychedelic (plural psychedelics)

  1. Any psychoactive substance (such as LSD or Psilocybin) which, when consumed, causes perceptual changes (sometimes erratic and uncontrollable), visual hallucination, and altered awareness of the body and mind.

Related terms

  • psychedelia


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