apoth·​e·​cary | \ ə-ˈpä-thə-ˌker-ē How to pronounce apothecary (audio) , -ˌke-rē \
plural apothecaries

Definition of apothecary

1 : one who prepares and sells drugs or compounds for medicinal purposes

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Synonyms for apothecary


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Apothecaries, Bodegas, and Boutiques

Apothecary, bodega, and boutique may not look very similar, but they are all related both in meaning and in origin. Each of these words can be traced back to a Latin word for “storehouse” (apotheca), and each one refers in English to a retail establishment of some sort. Although bodega initially meant “a storehouse for wine,” it now most commonly refers to a grocery store in an urban area, especially one that specializes in Hispanic groceries. Boutique has also taken on new meanings: its first sense in English (“a small retail store”) is still current, but it now may also denote “a small company that offers highly specialized products or services.” Of the three words, apothecary has changed the least; it has gone from referring solely to the person who sells drugs or medicines to also naming the store where such goods are sold.

Examples of apothecary in a Sentence

in olden days the apothecary had few drugs that actually cured anything, most substances being little more than pain relievers the historic village boasts an old-fashioned apothecary that's been there for almost a century and a half
Recent Examples on the Web Memories of our most beloved amusements Dawn Mitchell, dawn.mitchell@indystar.com There was something so reassuring about the quintessential neighborhood apothecary. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "'Cut Price Drugs': Remembering Haag Drug, your neighborhood pharmacy," 22 Nov. 2019 Earlier this summer, Pottery Barn announced a line of Friends-themed products including the infamous apothecary table. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Dress like Rachel Green with Ralph Lauren's Friends 25th anniversary collection," 19 Sep. 2019 There were no doctors that weren’t apothecaries in Colonial days and before. Dennis Hohenberger, courant.com, "Horticulturalist Gives History Of The Apothecary," 30 Aug. 2019 Tara Torres of the Sol Y Luna small-batch apothecary at the Mujeres Market pop-up in Riverside. Eric Ducker, Los Angeles Times, "At the Mujeres Market, women, queer and trans people of color find a safe space to sell their products," 14 Sep. 2019 The family never recovered financially, and in 1843 Ibsen was sent away to work as an apothecary’s apprentice. Andrew Katzenstein, Harper's magazine, "The Radical Conservative," 16 Sep. 2019 The apothecaries also did bleeding, draining a patient’s blood to rid the body of disease or toxins. Dennis Hohenberger, courant.com, "Horticulturalist Gives History Of The Apothecary," 30 Aug. 2019 Or an arm chair, so long as the cushions are included...the cushions are the essence of the chair—as well as a wink to Pottery Barn's own storyline with Rachel's gorgeous but controversial apothecary table. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Pottery Barn's 'Friends' Collection Will Let You Turn Your House into Central Perk," 19 July 2019 Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander book series which inspired the Starz television show, has spoken out about wanting to write a separate book about the mysterious apothecary who crosses paths with the Frasers very briefly in Paris. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Diana Gabaldon Plans to Expand the Outlander Universe with a Book About Master Raymond," 7 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apothecary.' 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 apothecary

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for apothecary

Middle English apothecarie, from Medieval Latin apothecarius, from Late Latin, shopkeeper, from Latin apotheca storehouse, from Greek apothēkē, from apotithenai to put away, from apo- + tithenai to put — more at do

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Time Traveler for apothecary

Time Traveler

The first known use of apothecary was in the 14th century

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Statistics for apothecary

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Apothecary.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apothecary. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for apothecary


How to pronounce apothecary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of apothecary

: a person who prepared and sold medicines in past times


apoth·​e·​cary | \ ə-ˈpä-thə-ˌker-ē How to pronounce apothecary (audio) \
plural apothecaries

Kids Definition of apothecary


apoth·​e·​cary | \ ə-ˈpäth-ə-ˌker-ē How to pronounce apothecary (audio) \
plural apothecaries

Medical Definition of apothecary

1 : a person who prepares and sells drugs or compounds for medicinal purposes : druggist, pharmacist

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