• Rx
  • audio pronunciation
  • \ahr-EKS\
  • DEFINITION

noun

a : a prescription: such as b : a written direction for a therapeutic or corrective agent; specifically : one for the preparation and use of a medicine c : something (such as a recommendation) resembling a doctor's prescription
  • EXAMPLES

"Any exercise that continuously moves major muscle groups, especially the legs, is the right Rx to improve cardiorespiratory fitness." — From an article in Food & Fitness Advisor, February, 2004

"PCSO [Pulaski County Sheriff's Office] collected 892.2 pounds of returned prescription drugs. All collected items will be destroyed in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. Removing these old/expired Rx drugs helps prevent abuse and overdose by both children and adults. The water supply and landfills are also not contaminated by their improper disposal." — From an article on THV11.com (Little Rock, Arkansas), April 30, 2013

  • DID YOU KNOW?

The "R" in "Rx" stands for the Latin word "recipe," meaning "take," and the first doctor to use "Rx" used it as a verb with the same meaning, "Rx two aspirin" being equivalent to today's "Take two aspirin." (The word "recipe" had had the same function from the 13th through the 17th centuries.) Those two letters were a 19th-century take on a 16th-century symbol, the letter R with a line through its slanted leg—the line signaling that the "R" is functioning as an abbreviation. It wasn't till the early 20th century that "Rx" came to be used as the noun we know today. As for the noun "recipe," it followed the same trajectory, referring to a medical prescription for about 100 years before it developed its connection with cooking in the early 17th century.

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