phantom limb

noun

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 The old life is reached for, again and again, like a phantom limb. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "The Literature of Plagues Gives Us Words to Live By," 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, "If ‘Pain Is an Opinion,’ There Are Ways to Change Your Mind," 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, "Studying the Superhuman," 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, "In Virtual Reality, How Much Body Do You Need?," 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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Cite this Entry

“Phantom limb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phantom%20limb. Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for phantom limb

phantom limb

noun

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phantom limb

Comments on phantom limb

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