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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Weeks later, the town was still traumatized emotionally, socially and economically. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Communities can become collateral damage in illegal immigration raids," 26 June 2019 Defense attorneys who don’t want their clients on camera, victims’ advocates who worry about victims being traumatized again, judges and prosecutors have opposed expanding Minnesota’s rules, Anfinson said. Jeff Baenen, Twin Cities, "Cameras at Minnesota sentencings are pulling back the curtain on courts," 17 June 2019 Julie Alert, who was with a mother at a computer convention, said the woman was traumatized by the incident. Max Londberg And Ian Cummings, kansascity, "KC police kill 3 in 1 day, say they met 'criteria for lethal force.' Questions remain," 14 June 2018 An earth mother with an impenetrable aura of self-containment, she’s been deeply traumatized by her direct involvement in Perry’s death and her inability to share what happened with her husband and daughter. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Family Values of Big Little Lies," 7 June 2019 The resulting war has resulted in mass casualties, and has also traumatized even young children, said Al-Salami, whose 2018 documentary on the conflict followed three young children. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "'No One Really Cares' About Yemen, Says Save the Children CEO," 4 June 2019 Infectious disease has been hard to corral with so many Congolese on the move, traumatized and displaced by some 50 armed militia groups operating in the DRC. Rachel Jones, National Geographic, "Life amid an Ebola outbreak: Combating mistrust—and saving lives," 23 May 2019 The claims allege that many children remain traumatized even after being reunited with their parents, including a 7-year-old girl who won’t sleep without her mother and a 6-year-old boy who is reluctant to eat. Nomaan Merchant, The Seattle Times, "Separated migrant families demand millions from US agencies," 11 Feb. 2019 Now, the operatives posing as her defenders claim that Ford was so traumatized by an event that supposedly happened in 1982 that rules cannot apply to her. Fox News, "New developments in Tucker's Google investigation; Dean Cain on Hollywood rallying behind Kavanaugh's accuser," 22 Sep. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of traumatize

1903, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about traumatize

Statistics for traumatize

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for traumatize

The first known use of traumatize was in 1903

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

Comments on traumatize

What made you want to look up traumatize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!