Definition of mental in English:



  • 1Relating to the mind.

    ‘mental faculties’
    ‘mental phenomena’
    • ‘Brentano did in fact hold that every mental phenomenon is an object of inner consciousness.’
    • ‘There is the belief that functional brain scanning can individuate mental pathologies in the living brain.’
    • ‘His message - make your brain sweat if you want to enjoy your mental life to its fullest.’
    • ‘You have to put your aches and pains in the back of your mind and that takes mental toughness.’
    • ‘At any given moment we all have a mental concept of who we are, and usually several.’
    • ‘Why do you invest even one brain cell of your mental capital on figuring out his motivation?’
    • ‘Early intervention in psychosis is a relatively new concept in mental health.’
    • ‘Are there enough mental health professions to deliver the therapy that is needed?’
    • ‘This disease of old age starts as memory loss and manifests in a person with the total loss of mental faculties.’
    • ‘A Scottish study claims that people's mental faculties were reduced after a lifetime smoking.’
    • ‘Even if we had a map of her entire mental mind, we still wouldn't be able to predict anything.’
    • ‘Power tools should only be used when your mental and physical faculties are at their best.’
    • ‘The illness of a relative meant that we, his family, were fully aware of his abhorrence of the loss of mental faculty.’
    • ‘Both of these ideas led to and reinforced theories that lack of hair was caused by mental activity or high intelligence.’
    • ‘It is said that with fading age, the physical and mental faculties do not remain as strong.’
    • ‘These simple lifestyle interventions may just help to preserve our mental faculties as we age.’
    • ‘Just as there are physical phenomena, in the same manner there are mental phenomena.’
    • ‘It is good for the mental faculties to start classes early in the morning and finish by afternoon.’
    • ‘We left the rainforest clearing content in our minds about the mental and physical wellbeing of our son.’
    • ‘No one in full possession of their mental faculties would describe them as dull or generic.’
    intellectual, cerebral, brain, rational, psychological, cognitive, abstract, conceptual, theoretical
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    1. 1.1 Done by or occurring in the mind.
      ‘a quick mental calculation’
      ‘she made a mental note to ring him later’
      • ‘Since it opened with its smart exterior a year ago I had made a mental note to visit the eatery.’
      • ‘I put the pen back in my box with a mental note to try it again one day when I'm feeling adventurous, and took up a pencil instead.’
      • ‘I trod on it as I got out of bed, and made a mental note to ask the staff not to put the tray on the floor the following morning.’
      • ‘He rung his hands together and Karla took a mental note that he didn't wear a wedding ring.’
      • ‘At the same time, I'm making mental notes about how to present our house on open day.’
      • ‘I made a mental note at that moment to immediately begin looking for a gift for Josh.’
      • ‘She made a mental note on her mind to inquire about his personal life more when she sees him again.’
      • ‘If Wyman seemed less than engaged, he was probably making mental notes for his next diary entry.’
      • ‘I made a mental note to ring her back and let her know about all that was going on.’
      • ‘This will just encourage them to make physical notes instead of mental ones.’
      • ‘Not especially in a mood to linger and look around I made a mental note to return in a better frame of mind.’
      • ‘Many of his pieces mimic the effects of nature that we cannot see or simply do not make mental note of.’
      • ‘I suddenly had an idea for a song, making a mental note to myself to write it later.’
      • ‘Weiskopf's mental notes will be more meaningful than anything he scribbles on the scorecard.’
      • ‘I have made a mental note to buy some bulbs of these next autumn and to plant them in pots for flowering in the greenhouse.’
      • ‘I made a mental note to remember to ask him what the proper term for the bird species was.’
      • ‘Preparing to leave this place for a ten day journey is more a mental task than a physical one.’
      • ‘On this particular Indian summer day, Andy journeyed toward the town and made a mental note of what he would trade for.’
      • ‘I studied the river bed where the fish had been, then noticed a quite a deep channel so I made a mental note for future reference.’
      • ‘Curri-San made a mental note to tell Rei about the compartments next time he saw her.’
  • 2Relating to disorders of the mind.

    ‘a mental hospital’
    • ‘A mental disorder only arises when we lose the capacity to differentiate between imagination and reality.’
    • ‘Only about ten percent of the elderly who need treatment for mental disorders get it.’
    • ‘Most patients with a mental disorder have a mixture of depressive and anxiety disorder.’
    • ‘Secondly, there is no evidence that treatment prevents suicide in patients with any mental disorder.’
    • ‘Indeed, psychiatrists do not talk of insanity but prefer to use terms such as mental illness or mental disorder.’
    • ‘The exhibit looks at the lives of people living with mental illness within mental institutions.’
    • ‘It's not a definable mental or physical illness, with causes that can be diagnosed and treated.’
    • ‘In mental health illnesses, visitors can and do play a very important role in aiding patient recovery.’
    • ‘Nowadays, music is both applied for patients with mental disorders and healthy people.’
    • ‘It is time that this Government took mental illness and mental health seriously.’
    • ‘Finally let me address prevention of mental illness and promotion of mental health.’
    • ‘The club was set up for and by people who have suffered through mental illness in the past.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the fact that a patient is suffering from a mental disorder cannot of itself mean that he lacks capacity.’
    • ‘Medium secure units admit patients for the assessment and treatment of mental disorder associated with risk.’
    • ‘Young prisoners had considerably more inpatient treatments for mental disorders than did the controls.’
    • ‘Consequent on her early abusive experiences, she has pervasive developmental mental disorder.’
    • ‘During her time as a patient no treatment for mental disorder or illness was given.’
    • ‘More often than not the inability to cope manifests itself in mental disorders, says experts.’
    • ‘The team also looked at admissions for mental and behavioural disorders caused by controlled drugs.’
    • ‘That was indeed the situation in the present case: the verdict and the order were silent as to the form of mental disorder.’
    psychiatric, psychogenic
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1informal predicative Mad; insane.
      ‘I think he was a little worried that I might be mental’
      • ‘That's one of the dangers for young actors - you get a bit of financial success and you go mental and blow it all.’
      • ‘All the other dogs were going absolutely mental barking and he was sitting there really quietly in his cage.’
      • ‘I don't care if you are crazy and tell me something mental like you brought a teddy bear.’
      • ‘Is it any wonder that some of them under so much pressure go mental or commit suicide?’
      • ‘As a symbol of Stein's greatness and a cue for the home fans to go mental, nothing beats the sight of that big silver pot.’
      • ‘This year, we had the additional joys of a barmy dog that hates fireworks - and goes slightly mental when they go off.’
      • ‘I've never really got into them that much, so I let other people go mental and bought a couple of beers.’
      • ‘They would all see her go mental, and she would slowly but surly lose her popularity.’


The use of mental in compounds such as mental hospital and mental patient was the normal accepted term in the first half of the 20th century. It is now, however, regarded as old-fashioned, sometimes even offensive, and has been largely replaced by the term psychiatric in both general and official use


  • go mental

    • informal Lose one's self-control, typically as a result of anger or excitement.

      ‘the home crowd were going mental’
      • ‘The entire crowd going mental right through the encore!’
      • ‘For five weeks of the year everyone goes mental.’
      • ‘By day nine or 10 I was starting to go mental. "’
      • ‘For three weeks every summer the city of Edinburgh goes mental.’
      • ‘The TV has gone mental too - keeps switching from channel to channel willy nilly.’
      • ‘I must be going mental, she thought sadly.’
      • ‘Edward went mental on the beach, racing around trying to get warm.’
      • ‘The uncertainty of employment can make someone go mental.’
      • ‘I didn't really know how to handle an audience that were going mental.’
      • ‘In this, the year 2000, music has gone mental.’
  • chuck a mental

    • informal Become unable to control one's temper or emotions.

      ‘he looks like he's about to chuck a mental at any moment’
      • ‘Some stupid cow chucks a mental because he wouldn't let her 10 year old into a popular MA rated film.’
      • ‘My father's just about to chuck a mental.’
      • ‘If you aim too high, you may find the workload overwhelming and feel so stressed out that you chuck a mental two weeks into Term 1.’
      • ‘Mr Lee chucked a mental and told them to come back after school.’
      • ‘She didn't even chuck a mental at me because she was too busy bawling.’
      • ‘I considered rubbing the excess ink across the front of my school jersey but knew that Mum would chuck a mental come laundry day.’
      • ‘I wouldn't want the moment of the century ruining by somebody chucking a mental when things were just hotting up.’
      • ‘When this article appeared in a national newspaper, they chucked a mental.’
      • ‘I ended up my day with him chucking a mental at me over the stupidest thing imaginable.’
      • ‘Cody could feel himself about to chuck a mental.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin mentalis, from Latin mens, ment- ‘mind’.