[sahy-koh-suh-mat-ik, -soh-]


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 formspsy·cho·so·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for psychosomatic

Contemporary Examples of psychosomatic

Historical Examples of psychosomatic

  • 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

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

Medicine definitions for psychosomatic




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

Culture definitions for psychosomatic



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


“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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.