ga·​len·​i·​cal gə-ˈle-ni-kəl How to pronounce galenical (audio)
: a medicine prepared by extracting one or more active constituents of a plant

Word History


noun derivative of galenical "characteristic of such medicines," from Galenic "of galen," who prescribed plant-based remedies (from Galen + -ic entry 1) + -al entry 1

First Known Use

1737, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of galenical was in 1737

Dictionary Entries Near galenical

Cite this Entry

“Galenical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Medical Definition


ga·​len·​i·​cal gə-ˈlen-i-kəl How to pronounce galenical (audio)
: a standard medicinal preparation (as an extract or tincture) containing usually one or more active constituents of a plant and made by a process that leaves the inert and other undesirable constituents of the plant undissolved
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