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)
1
a
: 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 expectationsKaren W. Arenson
2
: an agent, force, or mechanism that causes trauma

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 severe 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Christina Carlson, the organization’s CEO, and city housing officials say the building sets a new standard for spaces built to serve homeless youth, with a design aimed at meeting the needs of people dealing with trauma. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, 28 May 2024 Overcoming the trauma, Etienne said, was a constant fight. Grethel Aguila, Miami Herald, 27 May 2024 The trauma still haunts the victim more than two years later. Chris Eberhart, Fox News, 26 May 2024 But the head trauma was just one of the injuries Dwelaniyah sustained at the hand of his mother, police said. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 25 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for trauma 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trauma.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

circa 1693, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of trauma was circa 1693

Dictionary Entries Near trauma

Cite this Entry

“Trauma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trauma. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

trauma

noun
plural traumas also traumata -mə-tə How to pronounce trauma (audio)
1
a
: a serious bodily injury (as that caused by an accident or violent act)
head trauma
b
: an abnormal psychological or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or injury
2
: a cause of trauma
traumatic
trə-ˈmat-ik How to pronounce trauma (audio)
trȯ-
trau̇-
adjective

Medical Definition

trauma

noun
plural traumas also traumata -mət-ə How to pronounce trauma (audio)
1
a
: 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 kidneyM. 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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