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 traumata (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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Other Words from trauma

traumatically \ trə-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce traumatically (audio) , trȯ-​ , trau̇-​ \ adverb

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

Adults who were neglected can have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and significant trauma to resolve. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Five Types of Parenting Styles, Explained — And How They Affect Kids, According to Experts," 1 Apr. 2019 In November, Eric, 41, signed a deal with CBS to executive produce two shows, a comedy as well as a medical drama about trauma nurses. Marie Milano, Country Living, "'NCIS: LA' Star Eric Christian Olsen and His Wife Sarah Wright Are the Cutest Couple Ever," 20 Jan. 2019 There were no signs of trauma on his body, the statement said. Jackson Cote, BostonGlobe.com, "Preliminary autopsy results confirm Dedham caregiver died by suicide," 12 July 2018 There were no signs of physical trauma on either, police said. Madeline Buckley, chicagotribune.com, "2 found dead in garage on Northwest Side," 11 July 2018 Now, what once was seen as an option too toxic and extreme has fractured more than 2,500 migrant families in the past two months, feeding public outrage while testing Americans' willingness to accept a government policy that inflicts child trauma. Nick Miroff, Anchorage Daily News, "Obama's Cabinet shelved deterrent, but Trump's was willing to try it," 20 June 2018 The trauma from her childhood experiences led Hernandez to attempt suicide at 13 and later drop out of high school. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "MiraCosta College grad's goal is to inspire her daughter," 25 May 2018 Fromme’s body did not have any obvious signs of trauma, Williamson said. Lisa Maria Garza, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Osceola County man found dead in retention pond off SR 408 in east Orange County, deputies say," 9 July 2018 The current situation arises out of multi-year racial trauma our students have experienced while at school. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "How Students of Color Matter are Protesting Racism at Ethical Culture Fieldston School," 14 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for trauma

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trauma

The first known use of trauma was circa 1693

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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
medical : 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 traumata (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

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More from Merriam-Webster on trauma

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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