acupuncture

play
noun acu·punc·ture \ -ˌpəŋ(k)-chər \

Definition of acupuncture

:an originally Chinese practice of inserting fine needles through the skin at specific points especially to cure disease or relieve pain (as in surgery)

acupuncture

transitive verb

acupuncturist

play \-ˌpəŋ(k)-chə-rist\ noun

Recent Examples of acupuncture from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acupuncture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

In Latin, acus means "needle", and the English word acupuncture was coined way back in the 17th century to describe a technique the Chinese had already been using for 2,000 years. An acupuncturist may insert many extremely fine needles at a time; the treatment is usually uncomfortable but not truly painful. In China today, even major surgery is often carried out using only acupuncture to kill the pain; it's also used for many other conditions, including insomnia, depression, smoking, and overweight. Acupuncture is based on ancient theories of bodily energy that few Western doctors have ever accepted; but even though attempts to explain its effects by Western science have been unsuccessful, it's now widely recognized by doctors as effective for pain reduction.

Origin and Etymology of acupuncture

Latin acus + English puncture


ACUPUNCTURE Defined for English Language Learners

acupuncture

play
noun

Definition of acupuncture for English Language Learners

  • : a method of relieving pain or curing illness by placing needles into a person's skin at particular points on the body


Medical Dictionary

acupuncture

play
noun acu·punc·ture \ -ˌpəŋ(k)-chər \

medical Definition of acupuncture

:an originally Chinese practice of inserting fine needles through the skin at specific points especially to cure disease, relieve pain, or promote healing


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up acupuncture? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!