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

Only people who have asthma fully understand how traumatizing this health condition can be. Korin Miller, SELF, "7 People Describe What an Asthma Attack Actually Feels Like," 14 Nov. 2018 Camille is so traumatized in the moment that her first reaction—after vomiting—is to slash her wrists with a rusty nail from the toilet. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Camille Reckons with the Ghosts of Her Recent Past in Sharp Objects Episode 3," 23 July 2018 Some parents say they're concerned the sounds could be traumatizing to students. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Pennsylvania school holds active shooter drill to expose sound of gunfire to students," 13 Sep. 2018 For months, Claudia Guebel could only tell family and friends about a traumatizing encounter with a colleague in Argentina’s Senate. Almudena Calatrava, The Seattle Times, "Wave of sexual abuse allegations shakes Argentina," 26 Dec. 2018 But it must be said that this insult stands to re-traumatize Iranian-Americans and even those who follow Islam. Azadeh Valanejad, Glamour, "Sen. Lindsey Graham's Racist and Islamophobic Comment About Iran Re-Traumatized Me," 22 Oct. 2018 The weekly news cycle regarding the gun laws was mentally exhausting as well as traumatizing to myself, as well as many of my friends and colleagues. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "New Label Terreur NYC Doesn’t Just Give Us Great Clothes—It Gives Us Life," 8 Aug. 2018 This motion gently exfoliates the area without traumatizing it, Dr. Conrad says. Korin Miller, SELF, "We Asked Dermatologists How to Prevent Those Painful Ingrown Hairs by Your Vulva," 8 Aug. 2018 The Gargoyle King is just a creepy statue in the basement of the Sisters of Quiet Mercy facility, and it's has been used for decades to traumatize its residents into compliance. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Riverdale's Winter Finale Finally Solves the Gargoyle King Mystery," 13 Dec. 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.

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First Known Use of traumatize

1903, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for traumatize

The first known use of traumatize was in 1903

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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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