psychosomatic

adjective
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

Other Words from psychosomatic

psychosomatically \ ˌsī-​kō-​sə-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce psychosomatic (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 psychosomatic symptoms spread rapidly among the children: witnessing their classmates fall ill during a school assembly triggered a spread of symptoms through the 224 students honoring the sixth-graders who were graduating. Gary W. Small, STAT, 10 Dec. 2021 But the mechanism responsible for these psychosomatic reactions has always been shadowy. Quanta Magazine, 8 Nov. 2021 My subsequent studies of psychosomatic illness outbreaks show that symptom susceptibility is driven by anxieties in the community, social standing, and sensory cues, especially visual ones. Gary W. Small, STAT, 10 Dec. 2021 Medical experts who investigated his claims reached the conclusion that a good number of the ailments from which his patients suffered were psychosomatic. Richard J. Evans, The New Republic, 1 Dec. 2021 The psychiatrist Alexander Mitscherlich, founder of a clinic for psychosomatic medicine at Heidelberg University in 1949, considered Gröning and his followers dangerously close to providing a kind of substitute for Hitler and the Nazis. Richard J. Evans, The New Republic, 1 Dec. 2021 Most have psychosomatic symptoms – meaning the symptoms are real but arise from stress or emotional causes, not external ones. Robert Baloh, The Conversation, 30 Sep. 2021 Doctors chalk her complaints up to psychosomatic illness and conduct no further testing. Womensmedia, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 Someone who is Clear is less susceptible to disease and is free of neuroses, compulsions, repressions, and psychosomatic illnesses. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for psychosomatic

Time Traveler

The first known use of psychosomatic was circa 1834

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Dictionary Entries Near psychosomatic

psychosoma

psychosomatic

psychostasia

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Statistics for psychosomatic

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Psychosomatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychosomatic. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for psychosomatic

psychosomatic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of psychosomatic

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

psychosomatic

adjective
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 psychosomatic (audio) \ adverb

psychosomatic

noun

Medical Definition of psychosomatic (Entry 2 of 2)

: an individual exhibiting psychosomatic symptoms

More from Merriam-Webster on psychosomatic

Nglish: Translation of psychosomatic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of psychosomatic for Arabic Speakers

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