geriatric

1 of 2

noun

ge·​ri·​at·​ric ˌjer-ē-ˈa-trik How to pronounce geriatric (audio) ˌjir- How to pronounce geriatric (audio)
1
geriatrics ˌjer-ē-ˈa-triks How to pronounce geriatric (audio)
ˌjir-
plural in form but singular in construction : a branch of medicine that deals with the problems and diseases of old age and the medical care and treatment of aging people
An old family member is often the inspiration for medical students who choose geriatrics.Katie Hafner
compare gerontology
2
: an aged person
To put it mildly, the geriatrics of the entertainment industry didn't see this coming.John Perry Barlow

geriatric

2 of 2

adjective

1
a
: of or relating to geriatrics or the process of aging
b
: of, relating to, or appropriate for elderly people
the geriatric set
2
a
: old, elderly
a geriatric dachshund
b
: old and outmoded
geriatric airplanes

Did you know?

Since most medical care is devoted to those over 65, geriatrics, the medical treatment of the elderly, is a highly important specialty. The specific problems of the elderly include physical inactivity and instability, which result from weakness and loss of energy. Weakness of the eyes and ears plays a role, and weakening of the immune system often leads to more disease. All these conditions can be made worse by mental problems, such as declining intellectual activity, declining memory, and depression, which may prevent the patient from taking action to improve his or her condition. But the effects of aging can be greatly relieved by proper care. And the greatest improvement often results when the patient is persuaded to become more physically, mentally, and socially active.

Examples of geriatric in a Sentence

Noun most of the clinic's outpatients are geriatrics living on fixed incomes Adjective children who think that anyone over the age of 40 is geriatric went into nursing to work with geriatric patients
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
But taking many medicines simultaneously, known among medical experts as polypharmacy, increases people’s risk of experiencing severe side effects and drug interactions, said Dr. Nina Blachman, an associate professor of medicine and geriatrics at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. Knvul Sheikh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 May 2024 Trainees in a procedural specialty, like anesthesia or orthopedics, bring in more than double the amount of money generated by trainees in a non-procedural specialty like geriatrics or primary care. Abraham Nussbaum and Renee Y. Hsia, STAT, 2 Nov. 2023
Adjective
Witnessing a geriatric dude dribble down his chin while two barely-twenty-ones lick their salt rims is an image only whiskey can ctrl-alt-delete. Brandi California, SPIN, 1 July 2024 And its medical schools don’t offer specific training in geriatric medicine. Ayen Deng Bior, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for geriatric 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'geriatric.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

geriatrics from Greek gḗras "old age" + -iatrics; gḗras going back to a lengthened grade ablaut derivative of an Indo-European verbal base *ǵerh2- "become old, ripen," whence also, with varying ablaut and suffixation, Greek géras "gift of honor," geraiós "old," Old Church Slavic sŭzĭrějǫ,zĭrěti "to ripen, mature," Armenian cer "old man, old," Sanskrit járati "(s/he) makes old, ages, decays," jaraṇáḥ "old, decayed," jarā́ "old age," Avestan zarəta- "old," azarəšant- "unaging," Persian zar "old man," zāl "(of persons) old"

Note: The word geriatrics was introduced by the Austrian-born U.S. physician Ignatz Leo Nascher (1863-1944) in the article "Geriatrics," New York Journal of Medicine, vol. 90, no. 8 (August 21, 1909), p. 358: "Geriatrics, from geras, old age, and iatrikos, relating to the physician, is a term I would suggest as an addition to our vocabulary, to cover the same field in old age that is covered by the term pædiatrics in childhood." — The peculiar lengthened grade in Greek gḗras has been explained as deriving from the aorist egḗrā "(s/he) became old." The diverse forms and meanings in Indo-Iranian perhaps reflect a merger of two roots, *ǵerh2- "become old" and *ǵerH- "wear down, grind." See also geronto-, churl, corn entry 1.

Adjective

back-formation from geriatrics

First Known Use

Noun

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of geriatric was in 1909

Dictionary Entries Near geriatric

Cite this Entry

“Geriatric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/geriatric. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

geriatric

adjective
ge·​ri·​at·​ric
ˌjer-ē-ˈa-trik,
ˌjir-
: of or relating to geriatrics, the aged, or the process of aging

Medical Definition

geriatric

1 of 2 noun
ge·​ri·​at·​ric ˌjer-ē-ˈa-trik How to pronounce geriatric (audio) ˌjir- How to pronounce geriatric (audio)
1
geriatrics plural in form but singular in construction : a branch of medicine that deals with the problems and diseases of old age and aging people compare gerontology
2
: an aged person

geriatric

2 of 2 adjective
1
: of or relating to geriatrics or its practice
the geriatric department in a hospital
a geriatric ward
2
: of, relating to, affecting, or being aged individuals
the geriatric population
geriatric depression
treated geriatric animals

More from Merriam-Webster on geriatric

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