geriatric

noun
ge·​ri·​at·​ric | \ ˌjer-ē-ˈa-trik How to pronounce geriatric (audio) , ˌjir- \

Definition of geriatric

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

adjective

Definition of geriatric (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for geriatric

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some states in America, including Alabama, California and Georgia, have geriatric-release laws. The Economist, "Silver lifers The pandemic is boosting efforts to get the old out of prison," 7 Sep. 2020 Like many nursing programs around the country seeking to address the shortage of nursing personnel able to care for the growing senior population, the nursing school at St. Thomas has added a clinical experience in geriatrics into their program. Alice Adams, Houston Chronicle, "Home health care providers face strong demand for services," 9 Mar. 2018 Now Gove’s remark became the source of the ashen taste in the mouths of Remoaner metropolitan elites bewailing how provincial troglodytes, geriatrics, and Little Englanders had dashed their rationalist, internationalist dreams. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Experts Lied to Us about Masks," 8 Apr. 2020 There are sweatshirt-wearing college students, cantankerous geriatrics, bedraggled parents of toddlers, hipsters with multiple facial piercings and purple-haired 20-somethings of indeterminate gender. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "The Bernie Sanders Experience," 7 Feb. 2020 Yet geriatrics is badly scanted in standard medical training. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "‘Elderhood’ Review: The Way We Age Now," 17 Jan. 2020 At the same time, hospitals have long had financial incentives not to keep Medicare patients for long periods, noted Dr. Diane Meier, a professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. BostonGlobe.com, "The last time Americans died at home at the current rate was the middle of the last century, according to Dr. Haider Warraich, a cardiologist at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and a coauthor of the new research.," 13 Dec. 2019 Other geriatric care managers are social workers or have other degrees related to geriatrics. Alix Boyle, courant.com, "Geriatric care managers: They can save older adults and their families time and money," 17 Oct. 2019 There, 1,500 dedicated staff members provide compassionate and innovative medical, dental, and behavioral health services to 105,000 patients of all backgrounds, in a continuum of care from pediatrics to geriatrics. San Diego Union-Tribune, "A 50th Anniversary Fiesta," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Officials said 733 inmates have tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the southeastern Virginia facility which is home to many of the state’s geriatric prisoners. Washington Post, "Suffering from cancer and diabetes, a Virginia inmate died of covid-19 just months before his release," 2 Oct. 2020 The bulk of the plot involves Alistair and his ragtag crew of geriatric journalists ruffling feathers with their reporting, particularly when the Estate changes ownership to someone who clearly doesn't have the residents' best interests at heart. Joshua Axelrod • Pittsburgh Post-gazette, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Love in the Late Edition,' by Reg Henry," 11 Jan. 2021 Marie Grosh, an adult and geriatric nurse practitioner, is the presenter. cleveland, "Olmsted offers an array of mailbox art: Olmsted Dates and Data," 9 Nov. 2020 The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the highest toll has been at the Deerfield Correctional Center, home to many geriatric prisoners and prisoners with chronic health problems. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Tribal voting, third wave, Washington Monument: News from around our 50 states," 30 Sep. 2020 Talk to friends about backstopping each other; meet with a geriatric care manager; put in a call to a helpful person from your cancer-care team. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: She’s alarmed by her husband’s lack of concern over her illness," 16 Dec. 2020 Older people and those in long-term care facilities should feel safe receiving the vaccine, said Joseph Ouslander, a professor of geriatric medicine at Florida Atlantic University who works at two elder-care facilities. Sarah Toy, WSJ, "Covid-19 Vaccines Pose Potential Side Effects, Doctors Say," 9 Dec. 2020 Regional officials could have conditioned their willingness to pay for treatments at cutting-edge cancer centers on promises that private providers would furnish less lucrative services like geriatric care. Gaia Pianigiani, New York Times, "Why Covid Caused Such Suffering in Italy’s Wealthiest Region," 19 Nov. 2020 Older adults are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 because their heart and lungs are weaker, Dr. Elie Saade, medical director of infection control and a geriatric specialist at University Hospitals, said in August. Julie Washington, cleveland, "President Trump’s age, gender put him at risk for severe coronavirus," 2 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'geriatric.' 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 geriatric

Noun

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for geriatric

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

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Time Traveler for geriatric

Time Traveler

The first known use of geriatric was in 1909

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Cite this Entry

“Geriatric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/geriatric. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for geriatric

geriatric

noun

English Language Learners Definition of geriatric

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an old person

geriatric

adjective

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

medical : of or relating to the process of growing old and the medical care of old people : of or relating to geriatrics

geriatric

noun
ge·​ri·​at·​ric | \ ˌjer-ē-ˈa-trik How to pronounce geriatric (audio) , ˌjir- How to pronounce geriatric (audio) \

Medical Definition of geriatric

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

adjective

Medical Definition of geriatric (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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