alternative medicine


Definition of alternative medicine 

: any of various systems of healing or treating disease (such as chiropractic, homeopathy, or faith healing) not included in the traditional medical curricula of the U.S. and Britain

Examples of alternative medicine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

By 2014, alternative medicines, including digestive aids, probiotics and energy stimulants, were used by 3.1 of all the children, and by almost 5 percent of teenagers. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, "A Third of Children Use Alternative Medicines," 18 June 2018 On one side, there is trust in Western medicine and the authority of physicians and courts; on the other, a faith in alternative medicine and the freedom to decide what's best for your child. Andrea Simakis,, "Cleveland Clinic, parents clash over girl's brain tumor treatment; court to decide," 13 May 2018 For example, a search for information about alternative medicine will yield different pages in different nations depending on the attitudes of medical elites and of patients. Edward Tenner, Time, "Search Engines May Seem All-Knowing, But They’re Not. Here’s How to Get More Trustworthy Results," 26 June 2018 Today, Béchamp is invoked only by anti-vaxxers and disciples of alternative medicine who believe that food is medicine. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "The 19th-Century Crank Who Tried to Tell Us About the Microbiome," 15 June 2018 But the roots of many natural skin care solutions can be traced to Europe, where alternative medicine practitioners have been bottling botanical tinctures and homeopathic remedies for centuries. Kari Molvar, New York Times, "Direct From Europe: High-Tech Holistic Skincare," 26 Feb. 2018 In recent years, the alternative medicine community has embraced do-it-yourself enemas — including those using coffee as the stimulant. Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, "Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle 'detox guide' promotes coffee enema. Experts say it's bogus.," 8 Jan. 2018 The clinic in Germany offers alternative medicine including immune therapy vaccines and antibody treatments at a cost of £120,000. Fox News, "Mom battling rare cancer in race against time to create memories with toddler son," 16 May 2018 The conference also offered ample distractions, including a meditation session lead by Deepak Chopra, a prominent alternative medicine guru. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Praying To Satoshi at the Blockchain Art Expo," 14 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of alternative medicine

1972, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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The first known use of alternative medicine was in 1972

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alternative medicine


Medical Definition of alternative medicine 

: any of various systems of healing or treating disease (as homeopathy, chiropractic, naturopathy, Ayurveda, or faith healing) that are not included in the traditional curricula taught in medical schools of the United States and Britain

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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