Definition of psychopath in English:



  • 1A person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behaviour.

    • ‘Cult leaders are usually psychopaths with a desire for power and often take ideas from politics, religion and psychology to fulfill their purpose, he said.’
    • ‘Studying the statements of violent criminal psychopaths sheds light on their striking and specific vulnerability and emotional pain.’
    • ‘Will it some day be possible to genetically engineer violent psychopaths?’
    • ‘Nigel Eastman believes that even if neuroscientists could prove that psychopaths had abnormal brains, they'd still be left with the inconvenient fact that nobody seems to know quite what a psychopath is in the first place.’
    • ‘The majority of offenders with an APD diagnosis on file were in fact psychopaths, once more highlighting the asymmetric association between these two disorders.’
    • ‘One study found a greater proportion of psychopaths in sex offenders who had assaulted and/or unlawfully confined female prison staff members than in a sample of the general sex offender population.’
    • ‘Though diagnosed as a psychopath and then as suffering from hysterical amnesia - which he later said he faked - no one ever considered Hess clinically insane.’
    • ‘For a long time we wanted to believe that here we were dealing with abnormal monsters, psychopaths, or mentally defective, even psychotic individuals.’
    • ‘They told him that a violent psychopath had escaped from the local mental institution.’
    • ‘Stuart Kinner is interested in an evolutionary model of psychopathy, a sort of disturbing explanation that says psychopaths exist because they're well-adapted to our society.’
    • ‘Stuart Kinner analyzes psychopaths, a mere one percent of the population who account for more than half of serious crimes.’
    • ‘Some psychopaths are aggressive and commit violent crimes, other psychopaths are non-aggressive. Many other persistent criminals are said to have personality defects.’
    madman, madwoman, mad person, deranged person, maniac, lunatic, psychotic, sociopath
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal An unstable and aggressive person.
      ‘playground psychopaths will gather around a fight to encourage the combatants’
      • ‘Canadian documentary The Corporation, which depicts large companies as greedy, manipulative, deceitful psychopaths, is currently enjoying box-office success.’
      • ‘Morrison finds herself the hostage of a violent psychopath, trapped in a siege that cannot end without bloodshed.’
      • ‘The people have a government of crooks, cronies, liars, thugs and psychopaths who offer no leadership or positive vision and so lead their people to a life of squalor and desperation.’
      • ‘She has a boyfriend, who is not an aggressive psychopath like the stalker, but gentle and decent.’
      • ‘History is littered with despots and psychopaths, murderous dullards, evil geniuses, deadly incompetents, calamitous brutes of all descriptions.’
      • ‘His book is populated with scoundrels, megalomaniacs, psychopaths, manipulators and sadists - people he happens to find interesting.’