psi n.

(often in combinations) paranormal phenomena or faculties collectively; the psychic force supposed to be manifested by these; cf. psionic adj., psionics n.

[< the Greek letter psi (ψ), apparently suggested by psy- in parapsychology, psychic, etc.]


  • 1942 R. H. Thouless in Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 47 8

    Accepting the reality of psi, we may seek to fit it into the existing framework of scientific explanation.

  • 1949 J. Blish Let Finder Beware in Thriling Wonder Stories Dec. 26/2 page image James Blish bibliography

    Don’t forget that our experimental techniques explore only the most rudimentary kind of exercise of the psi faculty.

  • 1954 Worlds of If Apr. 51 page image

    In a world of telepathic contact, he was reduced to clumsy words. Yet, for a psi cripple, he was an incredible adversary for the psi-powerful Health Agents, who pursued him.

  • 1955 A. E. Nourse Brain Sinner in Planet Stories Spring 71/2 page image Alan E. Nourse bibliography

    The alien stepped closer, concentrating all his psi-faculties on the farmer’s mind.

  • 1964 P. Gotlieb Sunburst in Amazing Stories May 53/2 page image Phyllis Gotlieb bibliography

    If there’s any everyday kind of psi it’s telepathy in babies and kids.

  • 1984 D. Brin Practice Effect viii.ii. 168 David Brin bibliography

    The Practice Effect was at least partly a psi power exercised by humans on this world.

  • 1989 J. M. Dillard Lost Years x. 205 J. M. Dillard

    When she was old enough to be told about her psi, she'd worried that she suffered from some type of madness.

  • 1990 K. Harary Twilight for Parapsychology? in Omni Nov. 100/1 page image

    Is parapsychology a dying field? Lack of funding and the demise of several top psi laboratories suggest that parapsychology may well be on the rocks.

  • 1992 SFRA Review July–Aug.–Sept. 6

    Blackburn identified Bulwer-Lytton’s 1871 The Coming Race as the first psi novel published and later referred to…as an early speculation about the reality of the mind.

  • 1995 Interzone Mar. 55/1

    The novella ‘Need’ (1960) is one of the best of his psi-stories, but it is also one of the most harrowing; here the possession of a superhuman sensitivity becomes an alienating force in its own right, and the self-knowledge which the protagonist gains by virtue of his association with the empath is coldly unflattering.

  • 2005 Apex Science Fiction & Horror Digest Fall 12

    She had some pretty sharp psi-skills so she could mess with my brain while we were screwing.

Research requirements

antedating 1942

Earliest cite

R. H. Thouless in Proc. Soc. Psychical Res.

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.