acupuncture

noun

acu·​punc·​ture ˈa-kyə-ˌpəŋ(k)-chər How to pronounce acupuncture (audio)
ˈa-kə-
: 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 noun

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.

Examples of acupuncture in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On Thursday, his caseload included doing acupuncture on five cats, a Clumber spaniel named Aspen and a guinea pig named Pony; vaccinating a 14-year-old Bichon Frisé named Cabo San Lucas and doing a checkup on a 30-pound, 12-week-old Bernese mountain dog. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, 27 June 2024 In terms of recovery routine, cryotherapy, acupuncture and icing have been key to staying healthy this season. Emily Burns, WWD, 15 June 2024 Similar to acupuncture, knowing how to identify and stimulate pressure points can help relaxation, stress reduction, and balance moods. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 12 June 2024 More research is needed to know how acupuncture can help in the long term.12 Acupuncture has also been shown to effectively treat diarrhea when paired with Chinese herbal medicine like powdered supplements. Elizabeth Pratt, Health, 26 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for acupuncture 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'acupuncture.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin acū- (stem—or ablative—of acus "needle") + puncture entry 1 — more at acute

First Known Use

1684, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of acupuncture was in 1684

Dictionary Entries Near acupuncture

Cite this Entry

“Acupuncture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acupuncture. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

acupuncture

noun
acu·​punc·​ture ˈak-yə-ˌpəŋ(k)-chər How to pronounce acupuncture (audio)
: an originally Chinese practice of inserting fine needles through the skin at specified points especially to cure disease or relieve pain
Etymology

Latin acus "needle" and English puncture

Medical Definition

acupuncture

noun
acu·​punc·​ture -ˌpəŋ(k)-chər How to pronounce acupuncture (audio)
: an originally Chinese practice of inserting fine needles through the skin at specific points especially to cure disease, relieve pain, or promote healing

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