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[sahy-koh-suh-mat-ik, -soh-] /ˌsaɪ koʊ səˈmæt ɪk, -soʊ-/
of or relating to a physical disorder that is caused by or notably influenced by emotional factors.
pertaining to or involving both the mind and the body.
Origin of psychosomatic
First recorded in 1860-65; psycho- + somatic
Related forms
psychosomatically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for psychosomatic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Too tired, nerves worn too thin, psychosomatic control slipping.

    The Chapter Ends Poul William Anderson
  • psychosomatic disorders, hypochondria: Physical disorders caused by emotional problems are psychosomatic.

  • psychosomatic medicine focuses on the second of these; our focus here is on the first: physical origins of emotional disturbance.

  • Likewise, psychosomatic controls that can handle any ordinary wound we might permit them to inflict.

    Cubs of the Wolf Raymond F. Jones
British Dictionary definitions for psychosomatic


of or relating to disorders, such as stomach ulcers, thought to be caused or aggravated by psychological factors such as stress
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 psychosomatic

1847, "pertaining to the relation between mind and body," from Greek psykhe- "mind" (see psyche) + somatikos, from soma (genitive somatos) "body" (see somato-). Applied from 1938 to physical disorders with psychological causes. Etymologically it could as easily apply to emotional disorders with physical causes, but it is rarely used as such.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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psychosomatic in Medicine

psychosomatic psy·cho·so·mat·ic (sī'kō-sō-māt'ĭk)

  1. Of or relating to a disorder having physical symptoms but originating from mental or emotional causes.

  2. Relating to or concerned with the influence of the mind on the body, especially with respect to disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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psychosomatic in Culture
psychosomatic [(seye-koh-suh-mat-ik)]

A descriptive term for the relationship between the mind and body.

Note: “Psychosomatic” disorders have definite physical symptoms but are thought to be caused by emotional or psychological factors. Anorexia nervosa is an example of a psychosomatic illness.
The 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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