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From Ancient Greek ψυχικός (psukhikós) +‎ -al; comparable to a surface analysis of psyche +‎ -ical.



psychical (not comparable)

  1. Performed by or pertaining to the psyche (the mind, spirit, or both): mental, psychic. [from 17th c.]
    • 1890, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Vintage, published 2007, page 53:
      Who could say where the fleshly impulse ceased, or the psychical impulse began?
    • 1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture I:
      Even more perhaps than other kinds of genius, religious leaders have been subject to abnormal psychical visitations. Invariably they have been creatures of exalted emotional sensibility. [pg 007] Often they have led a discordant inner life, and had melancholy during a part of their career. They have known no measure, been liable to obsessions and fixed ideas; and frequently they have fallen into trances, heard voices, seen visions, and presented all sorts of peculiarities which are ordinarily classed as pathological. Often, moreover, these pathological features in their career have helped to give them their religious authority and influence.
    • 1913, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Poison Belt[1]:
      "The physical body has rather been a source of pain and fatigue to us. It is the constant index of our limitations. Why then should we worry about its detachment from our psychical selves?" "If they can indeed be detached," Summerlee grumbled.
  2. (theology) Pertaining to the animal nature of man, as opposed to the spirit. [from 18th c.]
  3. Outside the realm of the physical; supernatural, psychic. [from 19th c.]


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