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 Then, as the show progresses into new story lines and the rest of the cast tries to carry on without their key player, almost like a phantom limb, the audience feels a constant twinge that something is missing. Ile-Ife Okantah, Vulture, 21 Jan. 2024 Like many Russians, Putin has suffered from something like phantom limb syndrome ever since the Soviet Union collapsed. Calder Walton, Foreign Affairs, 19 July 2023 By the end of that year, the panel was monitoring 132 ongoing research projects, including studies on whether cannabis use affects antiretroviral therapy and how psilocybin helps people suffering from phantom limb pain. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 19 Jan. 2024 With the system, the volunteer could clearly distinguish between rounded and sharp objects and felt the sensation coming directly from his phantom limb. IEEE Spectrum, 20 June 2018 Laura Hermann, an audiologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore who wasn’t involved with the study, said the comparison to phantom limb syndrome was spot on. Katie Mogg, NBC News, 1 Dec. 2023 Doctors amputated his leg below the knee, but Lin experienced severe phantom limb pain that standard painkillers failed to control. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 22 Nov. 2023 Karin, whose last name remains undisclosed, endured years of phantom limb pain, and prosthetic limbs provided her little comfort. Sandra Rose Salathe, Peoplemag, 13 Oct. 2023 For a generation raised on the mythology of social mobility, the loss of optimism aches like a phantom limb. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 23 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'phantom limb.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1871, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phantom limb was in 1871

Dictionary Entries Near phantom limb

Cite this Entry

“Phantom limb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

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

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