Definition of trauma
1a : an injury (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 \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ 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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of trauma
Greek traumat-, trauma wound, alteration of trōma; akin to Greek titrōskein to wound, tetrainein to pierce — more at throw
First Known Use: circa 1693
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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