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 traumatize (audio) also  ˌtrau̇-​ How to pronounce traumatize (audio) \ noun

Examples of traumatize in a Sentence

He was traumatized by the experience.
Recent Examples on the Web Oftentimes the panelists — which included Zippel, defense attorney Ann Marie Taliaferro, victims’ attorney Bethany Warr and therapist Ken Roach — didn’t agree on how attorneys could represent their clients and not traumatize alleged victims. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 May 2021 Several states are considering or have passed laws that would help prevent or address the type of police policies that traumatize communities of color. al, 12 May 2021 Shaming abuse victims to speak out about their trauma is not only wrong but can traumatize the victim even further. Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2021 But Danielle Kilgo, a University of Minnesota journalism professor who researches adverse media effects, said that repeated exposure to violent footage can traumatize audiences, particularly people of color, who are often the victims. Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2021 Parents certainly don’t want to traumatize their child given the graphic nature of things presented. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2021 The teachers had provided their remote students with a link to an article that took them directly to a video of Floyd being killed, images that some parents, Black parents especially, feared would traumatize their children., 1 Apr. 2021 Advocates say this breaks trust with female workers and can further traumatize trafficking victims. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2021 Victims-rights advocates say the provision for cross-examinations could traumatize those alleging misconduct and potentially keep them from filing complaints. Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, 8 Mar. 2021

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

24 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Traumatize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for traumatize



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 traumatize (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 traumatize (audio) , ˌtrau̇-​ How to pronounce traumatize (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on traumatize

Britannica English: Translation of traumatize for Arabic Speakers


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