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[trou-muh, traw-] /ˈtraʊ mə, ˈtrɔ-/
noun, plural traumas, traumata
[trou-muh-tuh, traw-] /ˈtraʊ mə tə, ˈtrɔ-/ (Show IPA)
  1. a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident.
  2. the condition produced by this; traumatism.
  1. an experience that produces psychological injury or pain.
  2. the psychological injury so caused.
Origin of trauma
1685-95; < Greek traûma wound Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for trauma
  • The cause has not yet been determined but preliminary laboratory tests revealed acute physical trauma.
  • But recovering from the physical and mental trauma of its punishing blows can present formidable challenges.
  • Most mental conditions can be traced back to some trauma.
  • Many of them had suffered long periods of mental trauma during their early marriages.
  • trauma and personal loss obviously play a role in this, but the decimation of the city's physical environment surely does as well.
  • Pathological studies showed no evidence of physical trauma or disease.
  • Do not try to compensate for their trauma by coddling or being physical.
  • And because they don't themselves experience the pain, they must rely on their subjective intuition about the resulting trauma.
  • But they think it was the physical trauma of being sucked through the brushes that gave fleas a one-way ticket to the chitin-yard.
  • People with that type of physical trauma rarely became patients.
British Dictionary definitions for trauma


noun (pl) -mata (-mətə), -mas
(psychol) a powerful shock that may have long-lasting effects
(pathol) any bodily injury or wound
Derived Forms
traumatic (trɔːˈmætɪk) adjective
traumatically, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from Greek: a wound
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for trauma

1650s (implied in traumatic), "physical wound," from Greek trauma "wound," from PIE *tro-, *trau-, from root *tere- "to rub, turn" (see throw (v.)). Sense of "psychic wound, unpleasant experience which causes abnormal stress" is implied in traumatic, in psychological jargon 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trauma in Medicine

trauma trau·ma (trô'mə, trou'-)
n. pl. trau·mas or trau·ma·ta (-mə-tə)

  1. A serious bodily injury or shock, as from violence or an accident.

  2. An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial lasting damage to one's psychological development, often leading to neurosis.

trau·mat'ic (-māt'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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trauma in Science
  (trô'mə, trou'-)   
  1. Severe bodily injury, as from a gunshot wound or a motor vehicle accident.

  2. Psychological or emotional injury caused by a deeply disturbing experience.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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trauma in Culture
trauma [(trow-muh, traw-muh)]

Wounds that result from sudden physical injury or violence.

Note: The term is frequently used to describe an emotional shock that causes serious psychological damage.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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