doctor

noun
doc·​tor | \ ˈdäk-tər How to pronounce doctor (audio) \

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
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\ ˈdäk-​t(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce doctoring (audio) \

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 \ ˈdäk-​t(ə-​)rəl How to pronounce doctoral (audio) \ adjective
doctorless \ ˈdäk-​tər-​ləs How to pronounce doctorless (audio) \ adjective
doctorship \ ˈdäk-​tər-​ˌship How to pronounce doctorship (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for doctor

Synonyms: Noun

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

Synonyms: Verb

treat

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

Although the couple lives nearby in southern Illinois, she was treated throughout her pregnancy by doctors and nurses in Missouri and planned to deliver at a hospital there. Angie Leventis Lourgos, chicagotribune.com, "Inside the Illinois abortion clinic that could become the nearest option for women in St. Louis and beyond," 10 June 2019 On Monday morning, MGH will announce the formation of the Mass General Center for Gun Violence Prevention, founded by two doctors whose lives were changed by shootings. Nestor Ramos, BostonGlobe.com, "Forged in pain, new Mass. General gun violence center aims at prevention," 9 June 2019 Under Senate Bill 276 by state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), the California Department of Public Health would decide whether the underlying condition cited by a doctor in a medical exemption meets criteria set by the CDC. Rong-gong Lin Ii, latimes.com, "Measles-infected person travels through LAX airport on Memorial Day weekend," 7 June 2019 Much of its efficacy is likely to depend on the support given by doctors. The Economist, "Magic mushrooms should be decriminalised," 7 June 2019 After doctors appointments and trips to the emergency room, Palma went to see specialists at Mount Sinai Hospital who identified a lesion on her left frontal lobe, near a speech center. Lindsey Bever, Twin Cities, "Surgeons opened her skull to remove a cancerous tumor. Instead, they found a tapeworm.," 7 June 2019 On the down side, carriers may also unintentionally screen out fraud alerts from credit card companies, debt collectors (darn!), doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Doreen Christensen, sun-sentinel.com, "What cell carriers plan to do to aggressively block robocalls after FCC ruling," 7 June 2019 The boy was taken to hospital in the nearby town of Shongwe by family members after the incident but was pronounced dead by doctors. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Leopard kills 2-year-old boy in Kruger National Park," 6 June 2019 Keep in mind that anything that’s bothering you to a major extent should be seen by a doctor, and that the same goes for recurring issues. Lily Puckett, Teen Vogue, "7 Reasons Why Your Vagina Is Itchy," 28 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For the mayonnaise, try doctoring up your favorite brand with the recipes below. Ann Maloney, nola.com, "Dig into the red, ripe Creole Tomato Fest this weekend," 5 June 2019 Chemist Cafe gives coffee a high-tech treatment serving doctored-up Frappuccinos and iced coffees in a laboratory setting, Imbibing in Doha is limited to hotel bars and lounges, of which there are a good selection. Jenna Scatena, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Doha Is Much More Than a Stopover Destination," 4 June 2019 The Cut] Watch this: Why the Soviets doctored this iconic photo This photo conceals a clue to a brutal story of vengeance. Vox Staff, Vox, "Vox Sentences: 16 shots in 14 seconds," 3 Oct. 2018 The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, citing various other analyses, also wrote that the footage had been doctored. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The fake video era of US politics has arrived on Twitter," 9 Nov. 2018 The clip, which is slightly doctored to include a superimposition of Baron Cohen’s face, also implies that Baron Cohen may have followed Trump’s advice, so to speak. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Sacha Baron Cohen Is Upping His Feud With President Trump," 5 July 2018 In the footage, the blonde female flight attendant’s face is blurred and voice is doctored, presumably to conceal her identity. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "British Airways suspends flight attendant over racy video of her stripping off tights, smelling them," 21 Aug. 2018 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

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 and Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about doctor

Statistics for doctor

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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 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 How to pronounce doctor (audio) \

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 How to pronounce doctor (audio) \

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 How to pronounce doctoring (audio) \

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

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!