Definition of psychosomatic
- the psychosomatic nature of man
- —Herbert Ratner
- psychosomatic symptoms
- psychosomatic medicine
The doctor told her that her stomach problems were psychosomatic.
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.
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.
First Known Use: circa 1834See Words from the same year
What made you want to look up psychosomatic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
a blind with adjustable horizontal slats
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Find the Cousins