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 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 Perhaps society will one day look back on the diagnosis of couvade, with its amorphous symptoms and psychosomatic roots, the way people retrospectively think of how doctors diagnosed women with hysteria. Ariel Ramchandani, The Atlantic, 3 June 2021 Even now, officials who report these symptoms are closely screened to confirm whether their symptoms are physical or psychosomatic. Katie Bo Williams, CNN, 17 May 2021 But when 10 becomes 20 or 100 over the years, when some doctors hinted that maybe her symptoms were psychosomatic or a way of seeking attention, when seemingly no one had an answer, then how many times can someone be expected to rise again? Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, 9 May 2021 In the debate about long Covid, psychosomatic explanations are not rejected on the basis of stigma or resistance to the seriousness of mental illness. Diane O'leary, STAT, 24 Apr. 2021 To explain this away as some sort of psychosomatic ulcer? The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 3 Feb. 2021 Generations of scientists have tried to understand these bizarre conditions, which have historically been given diverse names, such as hysteria, conversion disorder or psychosomatic illness. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, 1 Nov. 2020 Several studies have shown that long-distance commuters suffer from psychosomatic disorders at a much higher rate than people with short trips to work. Tanika Davis,, 27 Sep. 2020 There is also the very real possibility that what actually helped those patients who took hydroxychloroquine was psychosomatic. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, 17 Sep. 2020

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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Statistics for psychosomatic

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Psychosomatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for psychosomatic



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 psychosomatic (audio) \ adverb



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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