doctor

noun
doc·​tor | \ˈdäk-tər \

Definition of doctor 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a Christianity : an eminent theologian declared a sound expounder of doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church

called also doctor of the church

b : a learned or authoritative teacher

c : a person who has earned one of the highest academic degrees (such as a PhD) conferred by a university Most of the college's faculty members are doctors in their fields. The class is being taught by Doctor Menzer.

d : a person awarded an honorary doctorate (such as an LLD or Litt D) by a college or university

2a : a person skilled or specializing in healing arts especially : one (such as a physician, dentist, or veterinarian) who holds an advanced degree and is licensed to practice See your doctor if the condition worsens. an eye doctor doctors' bills

b : medicine man

3a : material added (as to food) to produce a desired effect

b : a blade (as of metal) for spreading a coating or scraping a surface

4 : a person who restores, repairs, or fine-tunes things

doctor

verb
doctored; doctoring\-​t(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of doctor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to give medical treatment to doctored her ailing husband

b : to restore to good condition : repair doctor an old clock

2a : to adapt or modify for a desired end by alteration or special treatment doctored the play to suit the audience the drink was doctored

b : to alter deceptively accused of doctoring the election returns The pitcher tried to cheat by doctoring the baseball.

intransitive verb

1 : to practice medicine a career doctoring in the country

2 dialect : to take medicine

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from doctor

Noun

doctoral \-​t(ə-​)rəl \ adjective
doctorless \-​tər-​ləs \ adjective
doctorship \-​ˌship \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for doctor

Synonyms: Noun

croaker [slang], doc, medic, medico, physician, sawbones [slang]

Synonyms: Verb

acclimate, acclimatize, accommodate, adapt, adjust, condition, conform, edit, fashion, fit, put, shape, suit, tailor

Antonyms: Noun

nondoctor, nonphysician

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of doctor in a Sentence

Noun

He needed medicine but refused to go to a doctor. She was under doctor's orders not to return to work. I saw her at the doctor's last week. How long will you be at the doctor? Most of the faculty members at this college are doctors in their fields. Dr. Smith, can you explain the exam requirements again?

Verb

They were accused of doctoring the company's financial records. a doctored photo of the actress I think somebody doctored the punch. He had time to doctor his wounds. She doctored the sick child until the physician arrived.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Medicare requires doctors to document the adherence and effectiveness of the therapy. Marshall Allen, Ars Technica, "You snooze, you lose: Insurers make the old adage literally true," 21 Nov. 2018 Viability varies from pregnancy to pregnancy, but doctors today typically put it around 24 weeks. Anna North, Vox, "How Trump helped inspire a wave of strict new abortion laws," 21 Nov. 2018 Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Lisa Marie Pane, The Seattle Times, "It’s a Twitter war: Doctors clash with NRA over gun deaths," 21 Nov. 2018 The truth is that spiders rarely bite us, and nearly all of the reports are actually infections due to resistant Staphylococcus bacteria (MRSA), misdiagnosed by patients and doctors alike. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 The capsule will then be hauled onto the deck of Go Searcher, and the astronauts will be evaluated by doctors from SpaceX and NASA. Loren Grush, The Verge, "SpaceX’s helipad-equipped boat will bring astronauts safely home," 5 Nov. 2018 That's why the bill mandates that insurers in the state cover all fees for mammograms, breast ultrasounds, and MRIs a doctor recommends. Kaitlin Menza, Redbook, "Everything You Need to Know Before Voting in the Midterm Elections," 10 Oct. 2018 That doesn’t mean that fifteen years from now doctors will be able to prescribe a course of transcription factors to cure PSP. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 In Palo Alto, California, doctors told Olenka Villarreal that her young daughter, Ava, needed vestibular movement—like swinging—to help with her significant developmental challenges. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Why cities need accessible playgrounds," 20 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Almost anything can be doctored with a little — or a lot — of heat, depending on your taste. Becky Krystal, The Seattle Times, "Quick and easy garnishes to glam up your plain, boring food," 4 Sep. 2018 The photograph itself was not doctored, Snopes ruled. Kimberly Winston, USA TODAY, "No, Stephen Hawking did not convert to Christianity on his deathbed after meeting pope," 21 Mar. 2018 Bijan Stephen has two more experts to say that yes, the Acosta video was doctored. Casey Newton, The Verge, "One easy thing Facebook should do in Myanmar," 10 Nov. 2018 Revelations this month that the Finance Ministry had doctored documents relating to the deal renewed public anger over the scandal, which has simmered for a year. Isabel Reynolds, Bloomberg.com, "Japan's Abe Defends Scandal Response as More Voters Turn Away," 26 Mar. 2018 Some dishes invite and even require doctoring at the table with condiments, essential to any Filipino meal. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "At Lahi, Filipino Dishes, Classic and Idiosyncratic Alike," 31 May 2018 Between each loop, runners will eat, doctor their feet, maybe steal a quick nap. David G. Allan, CNN, "The infamous murderer's prison escape that inspired a near-impossible ultramarathon," 26 May 2018 Afghan officials doctored photos of the meeting to suggest that it had been held in Kabul instead of Bagram, which is about 12 miles away. Gardiner Harris, New York Times, "On Brief Visit, Pompeo Says U.S. Is Afghanistan’s ‘Enduring Partner’," 9 July 2018 How to Make Your Store-Bought Lunch Salad a Little Less Depressing David Williams Chefs share their tips for doctoring up a sad-looking container of romaine. Natalie B. Compton, GQ, "How to Make Your Store-Bought Lunch Salad a Little Less Depressing," 19 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of doctor

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1712, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for doctor

Noun

Middle English doctour teacher, doctor, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin doctor, from Latin, teacher, from docēre to teach — more at docile

Verb

see doctor entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about doctor

Statistics for doctor

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for doctor

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for doctor

doctor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of doctor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who is skilled in the science of medicine : a person who is trained and licensed to treat sick and injured people

the doctor : the place where a doctor works

: a dentist

doctor

verb

English Language Learners Definition of doctor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to change (something) especially in order to trick or deceive people

: to add something (such as alcohol or drugs) to (a food or drink)

: to give medical treatment to (an injury, a person, etc.)

doctor

noun
doc·​tor | \ˈdäk-tər \

Kids Definition of doctor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person (as a physician or veterinarian) skilled and specializing in the art of healing

doctor

verb
doctored; doctoring

Kids Definition of doctor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to use remedies on or for doctor a wound

2 : to practice medicine

doctor

noun
doc·​tor | \ˈdäk-tər \

Medical Definition of doctor 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a person who has earned one of the highest academic degrees (as a PhD) conferred by a university

b : a person awarded an honorary doctorate by a college or university

2 : a person skilled or specializing in healing arts especially : one (as a physician, dentist, or veterinarian) who holds an advanced degree and is licensed to practice

doctor

verb
doctored; doctoring\-​t(ə-​)riŋ \

Medical Definition of doctor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give medical treatment to

2 : castrate sense 1, spay have your pet cat doctored

intransitive verb

: to practice medicine

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on doctor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with doctor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for doctor

Spanish Central: Translation of doctor

Nglish: Translation of doctor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of doctor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on doctor

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!