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 Her symptoms were psychosomatic, triggered by the belief that she was just targeted by an immaculate poisoning. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, 1 Aug. 2022 That’s the central question that Tamar Koren, an MD-PhD candidate at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa focused on psychosomatic illness, is researching. Larry Luxner, Sun Sentinel, 28 July 2022 While some episodes seriously examined the illnesses, others advanced narratives that the conditions were actually psychosomatic. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Apr. 2022 And because one in three migraineurs are women, the disease has long been dismissed, or at least minimized, as just another psychosomatic condition of neurotic women. Jenifer Frank,, 24 Feb. 2022 Placebo effects are well-documented and real—in that people can indeed experience a certain extent of psychosomatic benefits. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 19 Jan. 2022 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 See More

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.

First Known Use of psychosomatic

circa 1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for psychosomatic

International Scientific Vocabulary

Learn More About psychosomatic

Time Traveler for psychosomatic

Time Traveler

The first known use of psychosomatic was circa 1834

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near psychosomatic




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for psychosomatic

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Psychosomatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for psychosomatic


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!