psy·​cho·​so·​mat·​ic | \ ˌsī-kō-sə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce psychosomatic (audio) \

Definition of psychosomatic

1 : of, relating to, concerned with, or involving both mind and body the psychosomatic nature of man— Herbert Ratner
2 : of, relating to, involving, or concerned with bodily symptoms caused by mental or emotional disturbance psychosomatic symptoms psychosomatic medicine

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Other Words from psychosomatic

psychosomatically \ ˌsī-​kō-​sə-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce psychosomatically (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

Since the Greek word soma means "body", psychosomatic suggests the link between mind and body. Since one's mental state may have an important effect on one's physical state, research on new medicines always involves giving some patients in the experiment a placebo (fake medicine), and some who receive the sugar pills will seem to improve. You may hear someone say of someone else's symptoms, "Oh, it's probably just psychosomatic", implying that the physical pain or illness is imaginary--maybe just an attempt to get sympathy--and that the person could will it away if he or she wanted to. But this can be harsh and unfair, since, whatever the cause is, the pain is usually real.

Examples of psychosomatic in a Sentence

The doctor told her that her stomach problems were psychosomatic.
Recent Examples on the Web The second play revolves around the mysterious internal injuries suffered by American diplomats stationed at the Cuban embassy in Havana, as a CIA doctor tries to convince one of the sufferers that her symptoms are psychosomatic. Los Angeles Times, "New in L.A. theater: The struggles of women, as seen through the Armenian genocide," 27 Sep. 2019 Officials have explored other possibilities such as a microwave or other electromagnetic energy source, as well as potential environmental causes and psychosomatic illness. Josh Lederman, NBC News, "Doctors find differences in brains of U.S. diplomats who alleged mystery attacks in Cuba," 23 July 2019 The next time, a spokesman said the shaking could have been triggered by a psychosomatic reaction to the first trembling episode. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "Angela Merkel Suffers Third Shaking Episode in Under a Month," 10 July 2019 His group helped dispel the notion that NCGS was purely psychosomatic. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "What’s really behind ‘gluten sensitivity’?," 23 May 2018 Federal prosecutors countered by stating that Beal had suffered a psychosomatic hallucination in 2004 and could not be trusted, even under electronic monitoring. Cindy Carcamo,, "Ex-boyfriend of woman killed in Aliso Viejo explosion to remain behind bars," 21 May 2018 Religion, cultural differences, and psychosomatic phenomena are all at play as Ortega’s defense argues that the killer was criminally insane. Maureen O'connor, The Cut, "A Crucial Question at the Nanny Trial: Is She Faking Her Hallucinations?," 28 Mar. 2018 People suffering from psychosomatic disorders develop physical symptoms with emotional causes such as stress and anxiety. Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "UM doctor who examined American diplomats in Havana: Symptoms are not caused by stress," 8 Feb. 2018 In the 19th century, migraine was considered to be a psychosomatic illness, along with other afflictions suffered principally by women. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, "Can Anything Stop My Migraine?," 1 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'psychosomatic.' 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 psychosomatic

circa 1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for psychosomatic

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Statistics for psychosomatic

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for psychosomatic

The first known use of psychosomatic was circa 1834

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More Definitions for psychosomatic


How to pronounce psychosomatic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of psychosomatic

: caused by mental or emotional problems rather than by physical illness


psy·​cho·​so·​mat·​ic | \ ˌsī-kə-sə-ˈmat-ik, -kō-, -sō- How to pronounce psychosomatic (audio) \

Medical Definition of psychosomatic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, concerned with, or involving both mind and body the psychosomatic nature of man— Herbert Ratner
2a : of, relating to, involving, or concerned with bodily symptoms caused by mental or emotional disturbance psychosomatic illness psychosomatic medicine
b : exhibiting psychosomatic symptoms a psychosomatic patient

Other Words from psychosomatic

psychosomatically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce psychosomatically (audio) \ adverb



Medical Definition of psychosomatic (Entry 2 of 2)

: an individual exhibiting psychosomatic symptoms

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More from Merriam-Webster on psychosomatic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with psychosomatic

Spanish Central: Translation of psychosomatic

Nglish: Translation of psychosomatic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of psychosomatic for Arabic Speakers

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strength of mind

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