stigma

noun
stig·​ma | \ ˈstig-mə How to pronounce stigma (audio) \
plural stigmas or stigmata\ stig-​ˈmä-​tə How to pronounce stigma (audio) , ˈstig-​mə-​tə How to pronounce stigma (audio) \

Essential Meaning of stigma

1 : a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something the stigma associated with mental illness = the stigma of mental illness the stigma of being poor = the stigma of poverty There's a social stigma attached to receiving welfare.
2 botany : the top part in the center of a flower which receives the pollen

Full Definition of stigma

1a : a mark of shame or discredit : stain bore the stigma of cowardice
b plural usually stigmata : an identifying mark or characteristic specifically : a specific diagnostic sign of a disease
2a plural usually stigmas : the usually apical part of the pistil of a flower which receives the pollen grains and on which they germinate — see flower illustration
b : a small spot, scar, or opening on a plant or animal
3a stigmata plural : bodily marks or pains resembling the wounds of the crucified Jesus and sometimes accompanying religious ecstasy
b : petechia
4 archaic : a scar left by a hot iron : brand

Other Words from stigma

stigmal \ ˈstig-​məl How to pronounce stigma (audio) \ adjective

Did you know?

Stigma was borrowed from Latin stigmat- , stigma, meaning "mark, brand," and ultimately comes from Greek stizein, meaning "to tattoo." Earliest English use hews close to the word's origin: stigma in English first referred to a scar left by a hot iron—that is, a brand. In modern use the scar is figurative: stigma most often refers to a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something—for example, people talk about the stigma associated with mental illness, or the stigma of poverty. When the plural form stigmata is used, the context is frequently religious: stigmata typically refers to bodily marks or pains resembling the wounds of the crucified Jesus and sometimes accompanying religious ecstasy. The first person said to have experienced this miraculous infliction of stigmata is St. Francis of Assisi, in the 13th century.

Examples of stigma in a Sentence

There's a social stigma attached to receiving welfare. the stigma of slavery remained long after it had been abolished
Recent Examples on the Web But understanding of polyamory has increased since then, and there isn’t as much of a stigma. Matt Didisheim, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 Dec. 2021 And there’s a lot of stigma surrounding, especially, single moms. Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2021 There’s a diversity of opinion as to how much of a stigma the issue carries within military communities. Ashraf Khalil, ajc, 14 Nov. 2021 There’s a diversity of opinion as to how much of a stigma the issue carries within military communities. Ashraf Khalil, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Nov. 2021 The evening, filled with unflinching conversations, served as a sobering and ultimately hopeful reminder that mental health must be drawn out of the shadow of stigma and into the light. Ian Malone, Vogue, 9 Nov. 2021 At the time, dating apps still carried something of a stigma, but Raya’s veneer of curation and privacy set it apart. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 15 Oct. 2021 Traditionally, there has been a lot of stigma surrounding pegging too. Gina Tonic, refinery29.com, 14 Oct. 2021 Often based on surveys, statistics can be under-reported as a result of the stigma associated with food insecurity. Keyaira Boone, Essence, 7 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stigma.' 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 stigma

circa 1593, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for stigma

Latin stigmat-, stigma mark, brand, from Greek, from stizein to tattoo — more at stick

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Time Traveler for stigma

Time Traveler

The first known use of stigma was circa 1593

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Dictionary Entries Near stigma

Stiglitz

stigma

stigmal plate

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Statistics for stigma

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stigma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stigma. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for stigma

stigma

noun
stig·​ma | \ ˈstig-mə How to pronounce stigma (audio) \
plural stigmata\ stig-​ˈmä-​tə , ˈstig-​mə-​tə \ or stigmas

Kids Definition of stigma

1 : a mark of disgrace or dishonor
2 : the upper part of the pistil of a flower which receives the pollen grains

stigma

noun
stig·​ma | \ ˈstig-mə How to pronounce stigma (audio) \
plural stigmata\ stig-​ˈmät-​ə How to pronounce stigma (audio) , ˈstig-​mət-​ə How to pronounce stigma (audio) \ or stigmas

Medical Definition of stigma

1 : an identifying mark or characteristic specifically : a specific diagnostic sign of a disease the stigmata of syphilis
2 : petechia
3 : a small spot, scar, or opening on a plant or animal

More from Merriam-Webster on stigma

Nglish: Translation of stigma for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stigma for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about stigma

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