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

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Other Words from doctor

Noun

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for doctor

Synonyms: Noun

doc, medic, medico, physician

Synonyms: Verb

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

Antonyms: Noun

nondoctor, nonphysician

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Spurs doctors in San Antonio saw the images and — out of an abundance of caution — recommended further testing for a possible fracture. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Metu’s misfortune means missed opportunity for Spurs’ second-rounder," 12 July 2018 There was his relationship with Michele Ferrari, the disgraced Italian doctor, and accusations from former teammates and friends. Nick Heil, Outside Online, "Are Kilian Jornet's Speed Records Too Good to Be True?," 12 July 2018 The two-day outdoor celebration — named after a 19th-century doctor and revolutionary from Puerto Rico — kicks off on Saturday with a parade starting on West Dedham Street. BostonGlobe.com, "Five things to do around Greater Boston, July 16-22," 13 July 2018 The four members of the Thai military — one army doctor and three Navy SEAL members — who stayed in the cave for eight days after the group was found were the last to emerge Tuesday. New York Times, "Soccer Players and Their Coach Are on the Mend, Thailand Says," 11 July 2018 Police reportedly surrounded her doctor’s office in Thousand Oaks, California, before ultimately determining that both Spelling and the children were okay, according to the outlet. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Tori Spelling Says Her 15-Month-Old Son Beau Was 'Stabbed' by Nails at the Four Seasons Hotel," 10 July 2018 Your doctor can test your fasting plasma glucose level to check for Type 2 diabetes (a normal reading is less than 100 mg/dl). Cara Rosenbloom, chicagotribune.com, "Ignore calories and BMI. Here are the health numbers that really matter.," 9 July 2018 An untrained eye doctor and surgeon in his spare time, Huntsman experimented with iron ore and tested different ways of smelting it. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 His disorder was an uncrackable riddle that doctors and medication could not solve. Lizzie Johnson, SFChronicle.com, "Berkeley boy was ‘Patient X’ in first FDA-approved medicine derived from marijuana," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Andy Baraghani, who developed the recipe, couldn’t resist doctoring it up, so our recipe is topped with something extra: sizzled fried scallions. Alex Beggs, Bon Appetit, "Make This Risi e Bisi Just So You Can Say It Over and Over Again," 10 May 2018 In the case on Tuesday, Detective Foder is accused of doctoring a photo lineup to persuade a judge that a victim had been able to identify two suspects in a carjacking. Joseph Goldstein, New York Times, "New York Detective Charged with Faking Lineup Results," 27 Feb. 2018 Sales staff at the bank also took steps to shortchange customers by doctoring trade-execution markups or dicing up customer orders to keep portions of trades in the bank’s own account, according to the regulator. Jenny Strasburg, WSJ, "Deutsche Bank to Pay $205 Million Fine to End N.Y. Currency-Trading Probe," 20 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.

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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

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Statistics for doctor

Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for doctor

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

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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

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