healed; healing; heals

transitive verb

: to make free from injury or disease : to make sound or whole
heal a wound
: to make well again : to restore to health
heal the sick
: to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome : mend
the troubles … had not been forgotten, but they had been healed William Power
: to patch up or correct (a breach or division)
heal a breach between friends
: to restore to original purity or integrity
healed of sin

intransitive verb

: to become free from injury or disease : to return to a sound state
The cut has already healed.

Example Sentences

You've got to give the injury time to heal. After the divorce, he needed some time to heal. The ointment will help heal the wound.
Recent Examples on the Web This product, which was first created in 1926, was formulated with ultra-protective ingredients like lanolin and beeswax, and calming agents like calendula and chamomile to heal dry skin all over the body and impart a dewy glow. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 16 Nov. 2022 Click here to see photos as students gather to heal and remember the victims. Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 15 Nov. 2022 Their experiences underscore how reimagining and redefining beauty on your own terms has the power to nourish, heal and unearth the version of you that feels truest. Martine Thompson, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2022 Research suggests that exercise and meditation may also help heal the mind in some cases. Knvul Sheikh, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Nov. 2022 Aloe vera plants, in particular, also have medicinal properties and can help heal cuts, burns, and other skin ailments. Erica Sweeney, Good Housekeeping, 29 July 2022 Caron said returning the missionary collection items would help heal the intergenerational trauma and enable Indigenous peoples to tell their own story. Nicole Winfield, Anchorage Daily News, 21 July 2022 Tips from the pros: Don’t rush the process and carve out enough time to properly heal and recover. Jordyn Brown, Essence, 8 July 2022 Only honest dialogue can help heal a fractured culture that has so painfully betrayed women. CNN, 21 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English helen, from Old English hǣlan; akin to Old High German heilen to heal, Old English hāl whole — more at whole

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of heal was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near heal

Cite this Entry

“Heal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heal. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

: to make or become healthy or whole
heal the sick
a cut that heals slowly

Medical Definition

: to make sound or whole especially in bodily condition
: to cure of disease or disorder
heal injured tissues

intransitive verb

: to return to a sound state
the wound heals
: to effect a cure
healer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on heal

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.