plural Rxs
: a doctor's prescription
At your next eye appointment, have your doctor write your pupillary distance on the Rx.Good Housekeeping
Doctor shopping involves a patient who either lies about pain, anxiety, or some other condition to a physician in order to obtain medication, or takes the same problem to multiple physicians to obtain and fill multiple Rxs.Fred Gebhart
also : something resembling a doctor's prescription in being an advisable or corrective course of action
… rest is still the best Rx for pulled muscles. Mara Grunbaum
Her problem was shyness, and [Doug] Henning's Rx has been to use her … on tour, where she performs as a singer, dancer and his assistant. Mary Vespa
Any exercise that continuously moves major muscle groups, especially the legs, is the right Rx to improve cardiorespiratory fitness. Food & Fitness Advisor
Allow us to prescribe some YouTube Rx: the latest in escapist, candy-colored music videos. Leah Greenblatt

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.

Word History


alteration of ℞, symbol used at the beginning of a prescription, abbreviation for Latin recipe, literally, take — more at recipe

First Known Use

1911, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Rx was in 1911


Dictionary Entries Near Rx

Cite this Entry

“Rx.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


derived from abbreviation for Latin recipe "prescription," literally, "take"

Medical Definition


: a medical prescription
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