trau·​mat·​ic | \ trə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce traumatic (audio) , trȯ-, trau̇- \

Definition of traumatic

1 : psychologically or emotionally stressful in a way that can lead to serious mental and emotional problems The report … revealed that the onset of bulimic behavior tends to be associated with voluntary dieting and with traumatic events such as the loss of a loved one.— Ralph Heussner He's been open and frank about his traumatic childhood scarred by violence and domestic abuse.— Stephen Milton broadly : causing distress or anxiety The traumatic experience of the Wall Street crash and the long depression of the 1930s has gradually faded from memory … — Jack Revell The arrival of mass tourism in a previously unspoilt area … was certainly traumatic. — Graham Robb
2 medical : relating to, being, or caused by a sudden, severe, often life-threatening injury to the body … the lone medical centers in the Triad to treat victims of traumatic injuries such as life-threatening car wrecks or shootings.— Pat Kimbrough Three years ago, she was in a traumatic car crash that shattered her pelvis, and caused numerous other injuries.— Brad Gillman There have been reports of shrapnel causing a traumatic fistula between the right coronary artery and the right atrium.— Matthias Eikermann et al. also : involving or causing tissue damage or physical stress The artery-dilating procedure, which uses a balloon or other device guided to the restricted artery by a cardiac catheter, is less invasive and traumatic than coronary artery bypass surgery. — Andrew Skolnick Open-heart surgery has become all but routine in recent years, although still physically traumatic. — Ralph T. King, Jr. — see also chronic traumatic encephalopathy, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury

Other Words from traumatic

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

First Known Use of traumatic

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of traumatic was in 1650

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Cite this Entry

“Traumatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce traumatic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of traumatic

: causing someone to become very upset in a way that can lead to serious mental and emotional problems
medical : related to or caused by a severe injury to your body


trau·​mat·​ic | \ trə-ˈmat-ik, trȯ-, trau̇- How to pronounce traumatic (audio) \

Medical Definition of traumatic

: of, relating to, resulting from, or causing a trauma cases of traumatic ruptureJournal of the American Medical Association a traumatic experience

Other Words from traumatic

traumatically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce traumatically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on traumatic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for traumatic

Spanish Central: Translation of traumatic

Nglish: Translation of traumatic for Spanish Speakers

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