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 Nonetheless, this prompted Mikovits to use the same tools to look for XMRV in samples from patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)—a disorder some had claimed was purely psychosomatic. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Fired scientist back to peddling anti-vaxx COVID-19 conspiracy theories," 8 May 2020 But the shot-calling undermines the movie’s pro-psychedelics argument, because there is no way to control for the psychosomatic effects of starring in a documentary. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "‘Dosed’ Review: The Case for Plant-Based Recovery," 19 Mar. 2020 There’s been so much reporting about the possibility of everything being psychosomatic or being stress. Adam Entous, The New Yorker, "The Mystery of What Happened to American Diplomats and Spies in Havana Deepens," 29 July 2019 Perhaps anxiety played more of a role than Curreri could admit; perhaps some of what had curtailed his playing was psychosomatic. Brendan Fitzgerald, Longreads, "“I miss my body when it was ferocious” The Transfiguration of Paul Curreri," 14 Mar. 2020 Forced to process it all, Juliette was hospitalized with a psychosomatic illness, suffering from such extreme stomach pain to the point doctors had considered taking out her appendix. Washington Post, "He drove drunk and killed 3 friends. Now he’s accused of prying out his ‘Interlock’ device.," 3 Feb. 2020 Maybe all of this is psychosomatic, and the Thunder uniform’s sky blue triggers Aldridge the way the color red sets off a raging bull. Jeff Mcdonald,, "LaMarcus Aldridge is the Spurs’ not-so-secret weapon vs. Oklahoma City Thunder," 1 Jan. 2020 Her doctors never investigated a possible psychosomatic cause. New York Times, "After Trauma, a Silenced Vocalist Sings Again," 21 Nov. 2019 The second play revolves around the mysterious internal injuries suffered by American diplomats stationed at the Cuban embassy in Havana, as a CIA doctor tries to convince one of the sufferers that her symptoms are psychosomatic. Los Angeles Times, "New in L.A. theater: The struggles of women, as seen through the Armenian genocide," 27 Sep. 2019

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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Cite this Entry

“Psychosomatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for psychosomatic


How to pronounce psychosomatic (audio)

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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Spanish Central: Translation of psychosomatic

Nglish: Translation of psychosomatic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of psychosomatic for Arabic Speakers

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