Definition of trauma
traumataplay \ˈtrȯ-mə-tə also ˈtrau̇-\
1a : an injury (such as a wound) to living tissue caused by an extrinsic agentb : a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injuryc : 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
traumaticplay \trə-ˈma-tik, trȯ-, trau̇-\ adjective
traumaticallyplay \trə-ˈma-ti-k(ə-)lē, trȯ-, trau̇-\ adverb
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.
Recent Examples of trauma from the Web
The attack Monday morning inside the KFC restaurant on Fletcher Parkway left the officer, a 28-year veteran, hospitalized with significant head trauma.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Laughter can combat trauma.
All three stations in time exist at once, their traditional order shattered by trauma, and in every station Arsham is wearing New Yorks.
An examination at Bethesda North Hospital revealed trauma consistent with a sexual assault and Mason Police Department collected evidence from the scene at the time of the incident.
The teenager, whose name has not been released by police, was taken to a regional trauma center with non-life threatening injuries and later released, according to social media posts.
A local trauma surgeon says such infections create a risk for sepsis, a condition that can damage vital organs and is very common among gunshot victims.
In this context of violence and trauma, securing peace will be far harder than winning the war.
Kevin Stevenson, chief deputy coroner said there were no visible signs of trauma to the body and foul play is not suspected.
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.
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.
TRAUMA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of trauma for English Language Learners
: a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time
medical : a serious injury to a person's body
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 traumab: a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from mental or emotional stress or physical injury
2: an agent, force, or mechanism that causes trauma
Seen and Heard
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