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

traumatic \ trə-​ˈma-​tik How to pronounce traumatic (audio) , trȯ-​ , trau̇-​ \ adjective
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

An autopsy found that Navarra died of blunt force trauma, police said. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Stepdad, 90, held in connection with woman's blunt force trauma death, police say," 28 Sep. 2018 His illness filled my earliest moments of motherhood with trauma and anxiety. Katherine Goldstein, Vox, "I was a Sheryl Sandberg superfan. Then her “Lean In” advice failed me.," 6 Dec. 2018 Laureano says one of the difficulties of doing TJ is how human behavior shifts with trauma. Kim Tran, Teen Vogue, "Transformative Justice, Explained," 15 Nov. 2018 Milwaukee Urban Stables, a project planned for a vacant lot in the Bay View neighborhood, will offer a horse therapy program with a focus on healing people with trauma. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Urban horse therapy program coming to Milwaukee's Bay View area will be first of its kind," 4 July 2018 The 37-year-old woman who was a passenger on the motorcycle was listed in critical condition with severe head trauma. Andrew Maykuth, Philly.com, "Police seek minivan driver in fatal Fairmount Park hit-and-run," 17 June 2018 There was always a weight in my chest from the emotional trauma, and the scar remained. Marc Myers, WSJ, "Eric Ripert’s Cooking Journey Began as a Picky Eater," 18 Dec. 2018 Overwhelmed by trauma, or a personal insurance battle, or the sheer complexities and unknowns of rebuilding, they are trapped in limbo. Susie Cagle, Curbed, "California’s changing fire country," 10 Oct. 2018 Author and animal behaviorist Russell Core (Westworld star Jeffrey Wright) has a trauma in his past: he was once called upon to track down and kill a wild wolf that had fatally attacked a child. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Hold the Dark throws Jeffrey Wright to the wolves," 28 Sep. 2018

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

12 Mar 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

Comments on trauma

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