trauma

noun
trau·​ma | \ ˈtrȯ-mə How to pronounce trauma (audio) also ˈtrau̇- How to pronounce trauma (audio) \
plural traumas also traumata\ ˈtrȯ-​mə-​tə also  ˈtrau̇-​ How to pronounce trauma (audio) \

Definition of trauma

1a : an injury (such as a wound) to living tissue caused by an extrinsic agent
b : a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury
c : an emotional upset the personal trauma of an executive who is not living up to his own expectations— Karen W. Arenson
2 : an agent, force, or mechanism that causes trauma

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Did you know?

Trauma is the Greek word for "wound". Although the Greeks used the term only for physical injuries, nowadays trauma is just as likely to refer to emotional wounds. We now know that a traumatic event can leave psychological symptoms long after any physical injuries have healed. The psychological reaction to emotional trauma now has an established name: post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. It usually occurs after an extremely stressful event, such as wartime combat, a natural disaster, or sexual or physical abuse; its symptoms include depression, anxiety, flashbacks, and recurring nightmares.

Examples of trauma in a Sentence

She never fully recovered from the traumas she suffered during her childhood. She never fully recovered from the trauma of her experiences. an accident victim with severe head trauma repeated trauma to a knee The accident victim sustained multiple traumas.
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Recent Examples on the Web Moral injury results from trauma that shakes the foundations of one’s moral code of right and wrong. Jill Goldenziel, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 But there has never been a program of rest and recovery that could completely restore the soul from genocidal trauma. New York Times, 15 Sep. 2021 Her death in January 2021 was deemed a homicide from blunt force trauma. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 15 Sep. 2021 The four victims died from injuries to their brains and skulls from blunt-force trauma, prosecutors said. NBC News, 2 Sep. 2021 A year later, Emily is beginning to heal from the trauma and decides to brave another trip with Kristen to Chile. Marie Claire, 1 Sep. 2021 The 6-year-old's uncle said his mission now is to ensure his nephew recovers from the trauma he's experienced. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, 10 Aug. 2021 Some people will burst into the office like the Kool-Aid Man ready to hug it out, but others will tiptoe in, still reeling from the trauma of the past year-plus. Washington Post, 22 July 2021 That night, police also found a man dead from blunt-force trauma. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 July 2021

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

circa 1693, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for trauma

Greek traumat-, trauma wound, alteration of trōma; akin to Greek titrōskein to wound, tetrainein to pierce — more at throw entry 1

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Learn More About trauma

Time Traveler for trauma

Time Traveler

The first known use of trauma was circa 1693

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Dictionary Entries Near trauma

traulism

trauma

trauma center

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Statistics for trauma

Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Trauma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trauma. Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for trauma

trauma

noun

English Language Learners Definition of trauma

: a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time
: a serious injury to a person's body

trauma

noun
trau·​ma | \ ˈtrȯ-mə How to pronounce trauma (audio) , ˈtrau̇- How to pronounce trauma (audio) \
plural traumas also traumata\ -​mət-​ə How to pronounce trauma (audio) \

Medical Definition of trauma

1a : an injury (as a wound) to living tissue caused by an extrinsic agent surgical trauma the intra-abdominal organs at greatest risk to athletic trauma are the spleen, pancreas, and kidney— M. R. Eichelberger — see blunt trauma
b : a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from mental or emotional stress or physical injury
2 : an agent, force, or mechanism that causes trauma

More from Merriam-Webster on trauma

Nglish: Translation of trauma for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trauma for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about trauma

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