[trou-muh, traw-]

noun, plural trau·mas, trau·ma·ta [trou-muh-tuh, traw-] /ˈtraʊ mə tə, ˈtrɔ-/.

  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.

Nearby words

  1. traube-hering curves,
  2. traubel,
  3. trauchle,
  4. trauchled,
  5. traum-,
  6. trauma center,
  7. trauma kit,
  8. traumat-,
  9. traumatic,
  10. traumatic amenorrhea

Origin of trauma

First recorded in 1685–95, trauma is from the Greek word traûma wound Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trauma

British Dictionary definitions for trauma


noun plural -mata (-mətə) or -mas

psychol a powerful shock that may have long-lasting effects
pathol any bodily injury or wound
Derived Formstraumatic (trɔːˈmætɪk), adjectivetraumatically, adverb

Word Origin for trauma

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

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

Medicine definitions for trauma


[trômə, trou-]

n. pl. trau•mas

A serious bodily injury or shock, as from violence or an accident.
A severely disturbing experience that leads to lasting psychological or emotional impairment.
Related formstrau•matic (-mătĭk) adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for trauma


[trômə, trou-]

Severe bodily injury, as from a gunshot wound or a motor vehicle accident.
Psychological or emotional injury caused by a deeply disturbing experience.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for trauma


[(trow-muh, traw-muh)]

Wounds that result from sudden physical injury or violence.


The term is frequently used to describe an emotional shock that causes serious psychological damage.

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.