trau·​ma·​tize | \ ˈtrȯ-mə-ˌtīz How to pronounce traumatize (audio) also ˈtrau̇- How to pronounce traumatize (audio) \
traumatized; traumatizing

Definition of traumatize

transitive verb

: to inflict a trauma upon

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Other Words from traumatize

traumatization \ ˌtrȯ-​mə-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce traumatization (audio) also  ˌtrau̇-​ How to pronounce traumatization (audio) \ noun

Examples of traumatize in a Sentence

He was traumatized by the experience.
Recent Examples on the Web Research shows that re-watching violent videos can traumatize viewers and lead to negative mental health effects. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Rayshard Brooks video: Legal scholars break down key moments in shooting timeline," 17 June 2020 But this is coming from a woman who believes the drug could be used for de-traumatizing pigs to make the bacon taste better. Shannon Carlin,, "R29 Binge Club: Homecoming Season 2 Recap," 26 May 2020 Several other members voiced their support for removing the books before voting to rescind the decision, expressing concern that parents’ wishes were ignored and that some of the books could traumatize students. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Mat-Su school board overturns vote to remove ‘controversial’ books from English classes," 21 May 2020 These concessions mean that survivors do not have equal access to education and are habitually placed in dangerous or traumatizing situations in trying to get their degrees. Nicole Bedera, Time, "Trump's New Rule Governing College Sex Assault Is Nearly Impossible for Survivors to Use. That's the Point," 14 May 2020 One user suggested the flyover might traumatize 9/11 survivors and waste bailout money. Fox News, "AOC criticizes JetBlue for NYC flyover to honor coronavirus health workers, first responders," 7 May 2020 Doing so is asking for the accuser to be disbelieved, and that experience can be re-traumatizing. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "‘Believe Women’ Was Always a Bad Slogan," 14 May 2020 The risk of re-traumatizing parents or children is just one of the concerns cited in a recent report by the Early Intervention Foundation, which came out against universal screening for ACEs. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "“As important as finding the cure to cancer”: Behind the effort to end childhood toxic stress," 21 Mar. 2020 She’d been traumatized by her calamities and had a low tolerance for suffering. Matthew Klam, The New Yorker, "The Liver," 9 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'traumatize.' 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 traumatize

1903, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for traumatize

Time Traveler

The first known use of traumatize was in 1903

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Statistics for traumatize

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Traumatize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for traumatize


How to pronounce traumatize (audio) How to pronounce traumatize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of traumatize

: to cause (someone) to become very upset in a way that often leads to serious emotional problems : to cause (someone) to suffer emotional trauma


transitive verb
variants: also British traumatise \ -​ˌtīz How to pronounce traumatise (audio) \
traumatized also British traumatised; traumatizing also British traumatising

Medical Definition of traumatize

: to inflict a trauma upon traumatized tissues children traumatized by physical abuse

Other Words from traumatize

traumatization also British traumatisation \ ˌtrȯ-​mət-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce traumatisation (audio) , ˌtrau̇-​ How to pronounce traumatisation (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on traumatize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with traumatize

Britannica English: Translation of traumatize for Arabic Speakers

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