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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The spa also touts a blend of alternative medicine, such as ayurveda, techniques with technology, as demonstrated through treatments like electrostimulation and HydraFacial. Byrachel King, Fortune, 12 Feb. 2023 She has been outspoken about her interest in alternative medicine. Emma Kershaw, Peoplemag, 13 Apr. 2023 Each year Americans spend about $34 billion on alternative medicine, much of which fails to hold up under scientific scrutiny. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 20 Jan. 2016 To Gorski, the very idea of alternative medicine is a logical fallacy. Matthew Hongoltz-hetling, The New Republic, 28 Feb. 2023 Amalaki has long been used as a natural remedy by practitioners of Ayurveda, an alternative medicine system that has its roots in ancient India. Barbara Bolen, Verywell Health, 31 Jan. 2023 Sociologists say that in addition to an influential culture of alternative medicine, the vaccine resistance is fueled by a strong tradition of decentralized government that tends to feed distrust of rules imposed from the capital — and by a far-right ecosystem that knows how to exploit both. New York Times, 17 Nov. 2021 Then and Now American historian Michael Willrich, author of Pox: An American History, says that many of those in the anti-vaccination movement toward the end of the 19th century were essentially doctors of alternative medicine. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 4 Sep. 2021 During a trip to Seattle, Katherine Avery (Debbie Allen) used alternative medicine to help treat her cancer while still trying to keep a secret from her husband Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.). Stephanie Wenger, Peoplemag, 16 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1972, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alternative medicine was in 1972

Dictionary Entries Near alternative medicine

Cite this Entry

“Alternative medicine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition

alternative medicine

: any of various systems of healing or treating disease (as herbal medicine) involving approaches not customarily taught or practiced in the U.S.

Medical Definition

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

More from Merriam-Webster on alternative medicine

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