Definition of trauma in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtrɔːmə/
Pronunciation: /ˈtraʊmə/

noun (plural traumas or traumata /ˈtraʊmətə/)

1A deeply distressing or disturbing experience: a personal trauma like the death of a child [mass noun]: many experience the trauma of divorce
More example sentences
  • She has a dark, dark secret that would twist the mind of any cat that has experienced the traumas she has, and seen the things she's seen.
  • Students are encouraged to experience university challenges as traumas.
  • I, too, experienced the traumas of trying to enter the world of journalism.
1.1 [mass noun] Emotional shock following a stressful event or a physical injury, which may lead to long-term neurosis: the event is relived with all the accompanying trauma
More example sentences
  • It was the custody that caused the mother and son to suffer the severe emotional trauma that led to the suicide, she added.
  • Many suffer emotional trauma from the shock of leaving home and being forced into a relationship too early.
  • This is in addition to the increased shock and trauma such events would have upon the release of these men.
shock, upheaval, distress, stress, strain, pain, anguish, suffering, upset, agony, misery, sorrow, grief, heartache, heartbreak, torture;
disturbance, disorder, jolt, ordeal, trial, tribulation, trouble, worry, anxiety, burden, adversity, hardship, nightmare
2 [mass noun] Medicine Physical injury: rupture of the diaphragm caused by blunt trauma
More example sentences
  • The common abdominal injuries after blunt trauma are those to the spleen, liver, and kidneys.
  • Other causes are trauma, iatrogenic injury, popliteal aneurysm, and aortic dissection.
  • The county medical examiner said the boy died of blunt force trauma, a fractured skull and bruised brain.
injury, damage, hurt, wound, wounding, sore, bruise, cut, laceration, lesion, abrasion, contusion


Late 17th century: from Greek, literally 'wound'.

  • This is an English use of a Greek word meaning literally ‘wound’. It was transferred to the notion of a ‘mental wound’ in the late 19th century.

Words that rhyme with trauma

dormer, former, korma, Norma, performer, pro-forma, stormer, transformer, warmer

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: trauma

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.