• Medicine


    • UK enPR: ˈmed-sǐn, IPA: /ˈmɛd.sɪn/, /ˈmɛd.sn̩/
    • US enPR: ˈmed-ĭ-sĭn, IPA: /ˈmɛ.dɪ.sɪn/
    • Weak-vowel merger IPA: ˈmɛ.də.sən

    Alternative forms


    Middle English medicin, from Old French, from Latin medicīna ("the healing art, medicine, a physician's shop, a remedy, medicine"), feminine of medicinus ("of or belonging to physic or surgery, or to a physician or surgeon"), from medicus ("a physician, surgeon"), from medeor ("I heal").

    Full definition of medicine



    (plural medicines)
    1. A substance which specifically promotes healing when ingested or consumed in some way.
    2. A treatment or cure.
    3. The study of the cause, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease or illness.
    4. The profession of physicians, surgeons and related specialisms; those who practice medicine.
    5. Ritual Native American magic used (notably by a medicine man) to promote a desired outcome in healing, hunting, warfare etc.
    6. (obsolete) black magic, superstition.
    7. (obsolete) A philtre or love potion.
      • 1597, William Shakespeare, , II. ii. 18:If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged. It could not be else. I have drunk medicines.
    8. (obsolete) A physician.
      • 1598, William Shakespeare, , II. i. 72:I have seen a medicineThat's able to breathe life into a stone

    Related terms

    Terms etymologically related to medicine (noun)


    1. (rare, obsolete) To treat with medicine.
      • 1857, Delia Bacon, The philosophy of the plays of Shakspere unfolded, And we shall find, under the head of the medicining of the body, some things on the subject of medicine in general, which could be better said there than here, because of the wrath of professional dignitaries,- the eye of the 'basilisk,' was not perhaps quite so terrible in that quarter then, as it was in some others.
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