Definition of Psychedelic

Reviewed on 6/3/2021

Psychedelic: 1. Hallucinogenic, distorting perception and awareness.
2. A drug such as LSD or mescaline that has hallucinogenic properties.
The word psychedelic was coined by the British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond (1917-2004) who introduced Aldous Huxley, author of "Brave New World," to hallucinogenic drugs. Dr. Osmond proposed the term, "psychedelic," at a meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences in 1957. He said the word meant "mind manifesting" and called it "clear, euphonious and uncontaminated by other associations." (If one follows the rules for combining Greek roots, the word should be psychodelic, not psychedelic.)

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