Also referred to as psychedelic drug, psychedelic substance, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic drug, hallucinogenic substance, magicum, pseudo-hallucinogen, illusinogen, mysticomimetic, phanerothyme, psychotic, psychotomimetic, phantasticum, and eideticum. The term psychedelic comes from the Greek words psuchè (life breath, spirit, soul, mind) and dèlos (visible). It translates loosely as 'mind expanding' or 'mind manifesting'. It was introduced in 1956 by the British psychiatrist Humphry Fortescue Osmond (1917-2004) in a letter to the British-American writer Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963), who had suggested the term phanerothyme (which is now obsolete). All the above terms are used more or less interchangeably to denote a group of chemical substances which - in relatively high doses - have the potential to alter consciousness and to evoke phenomena such as hallucinations, *illusions, *sensory distortions, *delirium, loss of contact with reality, and sometimes coma and death. In 1979 the term * entheogen was proposed as an alternative for these terms, in an effort to reinstate the original spiritual connotations of substances like these in *mysticism and shamanism. A person intentionally employing psychedelics for the purpose of exploring the psyche may be called a * psychonaut. For a more detailed account of this group of substances, see the entry Hallucinogen. Apart from its use as a synonym for the term hallucinogen, the term psychedelic is also used to denote a subclass of the group of hallucinogens characterized by the ability to make manifest a hidden but real memory, wish, fear, or fantasy. In the latter sense, it is used in opposition to the terms * dissociative and * deliriant. Some examples of psychedelics in the restricted sense are LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. The term quasi-psychedelic is sometimes used to denote a substance with an (allegedly) low hallucinogenic potential, such as cannabis.
   Aaronson, B., Osmond, H., eds. (1971). Psychedelics: The uses and implications of hallucinogenic drugs. London: Hogarth Press.
   Nichols, D.E. (2004). Hallucinogens. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 101, 131-181.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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  • psychedelic — ☆ psychedelic [sī΄kə del′ik ] adj. [< PSYCHE + Gr dēloun, to make manifest] 1. of or causing extreme changes in the conscious mind, as hallucinations, delusions, intensification of awareness and sensory perception, etc. 2. of or associated… …   English World dictionary

  • psychedelic — 1956, of drugs, suggested by H. Osmond in a letter to Aldous Huxley and used by Osmond in a scientific paper published the next year; from Gk. psykhe mind (see PSYCHE (Cf. psyche)) + deloun make visible, reveal, from delos visible, clear.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • psychedelic — [adj] affecting the mind so as to produce vivid visions consciousnessexpanding, crazy*, experimental, freaky*, hallucinatory, hallucinogenic, kaleidoscopic, mind bending*, mind blowing*, mindchanging, mind expanding*, multicolored*, psychoactive …   New thesaurus

  • psychedelic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) (of drugs) producing hallucinations and apparent expansion of consciousness. 2) (of rock music) characterized by musical experimentation and drug related lyrics. 3) having an intense, vivid colour or a swirling abstract pattern.… …   English terms dictionary

  • Psychedelic — Modern psychedelia:: For psychedelics, see psychedelic drug. The word psychedelic is an English term coined from the Greek words for soul, ψυχή ( psyche ), and manifest, δήλος ( delos ). A psychedelic experience is characterized by the perception …   Wikipedia

  • psychedelic — [[t]sa͟ɪkəde̱lɪk[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n Psychedelic means relating to drugs such as LSD which have a strong effect on your mind, often making you see things that are not there. Grof describes his research with psychedelic drugs and the… …   English dictionary

  • psychedelic — I. noun Etymology: irregular from psych + Greek dēloun to show, from dēlos evident; akin to Sanskrit dīdeti it shines, Latin dies day more at deity Date: 1956 a psychedelic drug (as LSD) II. adjective Date: 1957 1. a. of, re …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • psychedelic — 1. Pertaining to a rather imprecise category of drugs with mainly central nervous system action, and with effects said to be the expansion or heightening of consciousness, e.g., LSD, hashish, mescaline. 2. A hallucinogenic substance, visual …   Medical dictionary

  • psychedelic — psy|che|del|ic [ˌsaıkıˈdelık] adj [usually before noun] [Date: 1900 2000; : Greek; Origin: psych ( PSYCH ) + deloun to show ] 1.) psychedelic drugs such as ↑LSD make you ↑hallucinate (=see things that do not exist) 2.) having or using bright… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • psychedelic — psychedelically, adv. /suy ki del ik/, adj. 1. of or noting a mental state characterized by a profound sense of intensified sensory perception, sometimes accompanied by severe perceptual distortion and hallucinations and by extreme feelings of… …   Universalium