phantom limb


Definition of phantom limb

: an often painful sensation of the presence of a limb that has been amputated

called also phantom pain

Examples of phantom limb in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This phantom limb creates a pleasurable uncertainty about where the building ends. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 20 Sep. 2021 So far, these patients have described the sensation of their phantom limb in various ways, said Carty. Gideon Gil, STAT, 16 Sep. 2021 Around that same time, neurologist Vilayanur Ramachandran was exploring this kind of phenomenon with amputees who experience phantom limb pain. Popular Science, 10 Nov. 2020 For cramping and other muscular pain in the phantom limb, Ramachandran’s procedure is remarkably effective. Popular Science, 10 Nov. 2020 The old life is reached for, again and again, like a phantom limb. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 21 Apr. 2020 Pain can be experienced and relieved in phantom limbs. Discomfort and swelling increase when people believe a painful hand or knee is larger. Austin Frakt, New York Times, 2 Dec. 2019 Much effort has been spent to understand phantom limb syndrome, but this study is among the first to shed light on a converse phenomenon. Tom Roseberry, Scientific American, 4 Sep. 2019 Their work fits into a corpus of research on illusory body ownership, which has challenged understandings of perception and contributed to therapies like treating pain for amputees who experience phantom limb. Steph Yin, New York Times, 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phantom limb.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of phantom limb

1871, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for phantom limb

Time Traveler

The first known use of phantom limb was in 1871

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Dictionary Entries Near phantom limb

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phantom limb

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Statistics for phantom limb

Last Updated

25 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Phantom limb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for phantom limb

phantom limb


Medical Definition of phantom limb

: an often painful sensation of the presence of a limb that has been amputated

called also phantom pain, phantom sensations

More from Merriam-Webster on phantom limb Encyclopedia article about phantom limb


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