Definition of trauma in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈtraʊmə//ˈtrɔːmə/


  • 1A deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

    ‘a personal trauma like the death of a child’
    [mass noun] ‘many experience the trauma of divorce’
    • ‘Given the traumas of his previous runs this season, I won't be recommending a bet…’
    • ‘More traumas like this and I might actually have to use one.’
    • ‘The effects of the traumas experienced by Holocaust survivors persist more than 50 years later.’
    • ‘In my work I often see people who have suffered terrible traumas but never as immediately as this.’
    • ‘I, too, experienced the traumas of trying to enter the world of journalism.’
    • ‘No nation has experienced the traumas that have repeatedly befallen the Jewish nation.’
    • ‘A generation for whom all these realities are new, and yet are exposed to the traumas in such an unfiltered way, is bound to be deeply troubled.’
    • ‘His experience of the traumas and the issues of the civil war of the 1260s informed his approach to English affairs when he became king.’
    • ‘Did you have an unusually bad high-school experience, or was it just the usual teen traumas?’
    • ‘Persons suffering from traumas such as strokes or serious accidents are vulnerable due to the wait.’
    • ‘But such traumas only occur after exhaustive efforts to achieve co-operation with dignity have failed.’
    • ‘It can be triggered by peer pressure, media pressure or sudden traumas such as divorce or death.’
    • ‘Okay, as far as phobia-causing childhood traumas go, I'm sure there are worse.’
    • ‘He hints at family traumas, but is suspicious of pop stars who ‘pour their hearts out with media training’.’
    • ‘Students are encouraged to experience university challenges as traumas.’
    • ‘We work with a variety of young people and families, many have experienced traumas, different forms of abuse.’
    • ‘This evolutionary process has not been without its traumas.’
    • ‘The majority of these power-hungry leaders are trying to make up for sins in their own lives or for the past traumas and hurts they have experienced.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This act was deeply unpopular, and implicated Ford in the traumas of Watergate.’
    torment, agony, suffering, pain
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    1. 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’
      • ‘The goal of this author and her family is to give a voice for the long term victims of trauma.’
      • ‘This proud young man has already experienced the physical pain and emotional trauma inflicted by this government.’
      • ‘Psychological trauma and long term emotional damage were major concerns.’
      • ‘Many suffer emotional trauma from the shock of leaving home and being forced into a relationship too early.’
      • ‘Our service-men and women would probably suffer the same kind of traumas which have hit combatants from past conflicts.’
      • ‘She told the conference that injuries she couldn't show were the emotional and mental trauma.’
      • ‘It is not confined to those who suffer emotional trauma or who are diagnosed as being mentally ill.’
      • ‘The trauma of the ordeal led her to move to another house as she feared for her safety.’
      • ‘While such events can lead to considerable psychological trauma and distress, they may also inure a young mind to violence.’
      • ‘No thought is given to the physical, mental, and emotional trauma suffered by the victim.’
      • ‘I hope that her family will be able to spend some quality time with her, but it will not be easy in the long run to cope with such emotional trauma.’
      • ‘For many Muslims, it has been a haven where they could come to heal the traumas and persecution they experienced in their home countries.’
      • ‘Many Australian veterans have suffered from the long-term effects of trauma.’
      • ‘The traumas of reversing this process are still being felt some 10 years after the systems were abolished.’
      • ‘It was the custody that caused the mother and son to suffer the severe emotional trauma that led to the suicide, she added.’
      • ‘Aside from what was later termed emotional trauma, the divers were returned unharmed.’
      • ‘In my opinion, the causes are related to depression, emotional trauma and extremely low self-esteem.’
      • ‘These testimonies are then separated from other traumas and suffering across the globe.’
      • ‘Psychologists said the child, who was immediately placed in foster care, would suffer long-term trauma.’
      • ‘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
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  • 2Medicine
    [mass noun] Physical injury.

    ‘rupture of the diaphragm caused by blunt trauma’
    • ‘The common abdominal injuries after blunt trauma are those to the spleen, liver, and kidneys.’
    • ‘The county medical examiner said the boy died of blunt force trauma, a fractured skull and bruised brain.’
    • ‘All blunt orbital trauma should be taken seriously even when an injury is apparently trivial.’
    • ‘A foreign body usually presents with a history of trauma and an entrance wound that will not heal.’
    • ‘Other causes are trauma, iatrogenic injury, popliteal aneurysm, and aortic dissection.’
    injury, damage, hurt, wound, wounding, sore, bruise, cut, laceration, lesion, abrasion, contusion
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Late 17th century: from Greek, literally wound.