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Definition of "stigma" []

  • A mark or token of infamy, disgrace, or reproach: "Party affiliation has never been more casual . . . The stigmata of decay are everywhere” ( Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.) See Synonyms at stain. (noun)
  • A small mark; a scar or birthmark. (noun)
  • Medicine A mark or characteristic indicative of a history of a disease or abnormality. (noun)
  • Psychology A mark or spot on the skin that bleeds as a symptom of hysteria. (noun)
  • Bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain corresponding in location to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, usually occurring during states of religious ecstasy or hysteria. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "stigma" in a sentence
  • "Stigmata is the plural of the Greek word stigma, which is translated as ‘mark’ or ‘brand,’ like one you might place on an animal, like cowboys brand cows."
  • "Social stigma is responsible for “teaching” us what is and is not acceptable for us to display."
  • "The "living in sin" stigma is less than it was 30 years ago, when landlords denied apartments to unmarried couples, said Steven Ruggles, director of the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota."