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) \

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

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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 School officials, lawmakers, antihunger organizations, and parents are applauding it as a pioneering way to prevent the stigma of accepting free lunches and feed more hungry children. BostonGlobe.com, 20 July 2021 The stigma of commerce was lifted in part by a sense of intimacy; prospective sellers were encouraged to get their family, friends and even churches involved in the project. Ellen Wayland-smith, WSJ, 29 June 2021 Wade also found that students were more comfortable getting tested for Covid-19 than STDs, which was shrouded in the stigma of bad behavior. NBC News, 29 June 2021 Do not let the stigma of a mental health disorder prevent you from seeking a referral for treatment. Noel Cody, Essence, 25 June 2021 Knowledge and accessibility work in tandem to create opportunities for treatment, reduce stigma and demonstrate to employees that the company truly cares. Allison Walsh, Forbes, 24 June 2021 Fuchs' determination to speak up against the stigma of mental illness comes at a time when awareness is rising throughout sports. Greg Beacham, Star Tribune, 21 June 2021 And in the West, the stigma of cosmetic enhancement is dissipating. Beatrice Hazlehurst, Allure, 20 June 2021 For some, though, the stigma of seeking help for mental health problems still exists in the military, Andrysiak said. USA Today, 11 June 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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Learn More About stigma

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

27 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stigma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stigma. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for stigma

stigma

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stigma

: a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something
botany : the top part in the center of a flower which receives the pollen

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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