psychosomatic

adjective

psy·​cho·​so·​mat·​ic ˌsī-kō-sə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce psychosomatic (audio)
1
: of, relating to, concerned with, or involving both mind and body
the psychosomatic nature of manHerbert Ratner
2
: of, relating to, involving, or concerned with bodily symptoms caused by mental or emotional disturbance
psychosomatic symptoms
psychosomatic medicine
psychosomatically 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 However, while there may not yet be a definitive diagnostic test for it, researchers have found biomarkers, distinct immune changes in blood samples, that demonstrate that ME/CFS is indeed a biological condition, not a psychosomatic one. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 1 Apr. 2024 While other researchers immediately disagreed with them, their work and the lack of clear cause for the disease meant that a lot of doctors were comfortable shrugging it off as totally psychosomatic. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, 14 Feb. 2024 Even now, officials who report these symptoms are closely screened to confirm whether their symptoms are physical or psychosomatic. Jenny Haward, Peoplemag, 19 Oct. 2023 Relentless examination can have unforeseen consequences, as neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan writes in The Sleeping Beauties, an examination of psychosomatic disorder. Eleanor Cummins, The New Republic, 11 May 2023 While some episodes seriously examined the conditions, others advanced narratives that the conditions were actually psychosomatic. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 June 2023 This virtual box may provide some misplaced sense of security and psychosomatic comfort. Nicholas Dodman, Discover Magazine, 18 Apr. 2017 Because the study was small, all of the participants were male and lived at a high altitude, researchers were unable to make definitive conclusions, but believe looking into how meditation can help prevent or treat psychosomatic illness merits further research. L'oreal Thompson Payton, Fortune, 16 Jan. 2023 Amid the emotionally taxing affair, Sandra also worries about the well-being of her daughter, Linn (Camille Leban Martins, delightfully plucky), whose sudden limp appears to be psychosomatic. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

circa 1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of psychosomatic was circa 1834

Dictionary Entries Near psychosomatic

Cite this Entry

“Psychosomatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychosomatic. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

psychosomatic

adjective
psy·​cho·​so·​mat·​ic ˌsī-kō-sə-ˈmat-ik How to pronounce psychosomatic (audio)
: of, relating to, or being symptoms of the body that are caused by disturbances (as stress) originating in the mind

Medical Definition

psychosomatic

1 of 2 adjective
psy·​cho·​so·​mat·​ic ˌsī-kə-sə-ˈmat-ik, -kō-, -sō- How to pronounce psychosomatic (audio)
1
: of, relating to, concerned with, or involving both mind and body
the psychosomatic nature of manHerbert Ratner
2
a
: 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
psychosomatically adverb

psychosomatic

2 of 2 noun
: an individual exhibiting psychosomatic symptoms

More from Merriam-Webster on psychosomatic

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