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 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 Clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Ime coined the term imposter syndrome in 1978 when investigating these and other physical symptoms that stemmed from mental self-doubt as a psychosomatic pattern. Anchorage Daily News, "Does your colleagues’ praise leave you feeling like a fraud? You may suffer from ‘imposter sydrome’," 23 Apr. 2018 Two women, a famous actress afflicted with a psychosomatic loss of speech (Liv Ullmann) and a garrulous nurse (Bibi Andersson)--share a remote seaside cottage where their identities overlap, blur and eventually merge. Greg Burnett,, "7 classic Ingmar Bergman films to be screened at the Peter Lewis Theater," 4 Mar. 2018

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

23 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for psychosomatic

The first known use of psychosomatic was circa 1834

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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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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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