\ˈhēl \
healed; healing; heals

Definition of heal 

transitive verb

1a : to make free from injury or disease : to make sound or whole heal a wound

b : to make well again : to restore to health heal the sick

2a : to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome : mend the troubles … had not been forgotten, but they had been healed— William Power

b : to patch up or correct (a breach or division) heal a breach between friends

3 : 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.

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Examples of heal in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In that situation, experts recommending waiting until the pimple is healed over with fresh new skin before covering it with makeup. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "Is It Harmful to Use Makeup to Cover Acne?," 9 Nov. 2018 Venom gives Eddie superhuman strength, healing powers, and conveniently takes over Eddie’s hands and legs to help him in fights. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Venom is a bizarre and baffling mess," 3 Oct. 2018 While Maine boasts a low 3.2% unemployment rate as of August—below the national rate—such figures don’t reflect some communities’ still-healing wounds from recent manufacturing losses, economists said. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Maine’s Mill Towns Search for New Life," 2 Oct. 2018 The protective black helmet on Danny’s head has become a constant accessory because of concerns over the softness of his skull, which won’t completely heal for six to eight months. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Operating on Danny Farquhar's brain didn't change what was in White Sox pitcher's heart," 12 July 2018 Almost all organisms on Earth do, from animals and plants to bacteria and fungi, but at some point in their history, placental mammals like us stopped producing enzymes that heal DNA with light. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "DNA-Repairing Sunscreen: Legit or Not?," 2 July 2018 By episode’s end, both actresses reconciled and began healing their friendship. Niki Mcgloster, Essence.com, "The Quick Read: Jada Pinkett Smith and Gabrielle Union Dish On Their 17-Year Silent Feud," 29 May 2018 The exact function of this proto-sleep remains unclear, but sleep unquestionably confers many benefits in animals, including healing the nervous system, strengthening memory, and conserving energy. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Brainless Creatures Can Do Some Incredibly Smart Things," 21 May 2018 When her little boy died on May 21, 2016, Tracey was left searching for a way to heal the gaping wound in her heart and keep her son's memory alive. Maureen C. Gilmer, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel boy got his angel wings; now a UPS pilot flies the world with his favorite toy," 1 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of heal

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

History and Etymology for heal

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

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Dictionary Entries near heal


head yard






Statistics for heal

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heal

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

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More Definitions for heal



English Language Learners Definition of heal

: to become healthy or well again

: to make (someone or something) healthy or well again


\ˈhēl \
healed; healing

Kids Definition of heal

: to make or become healthy or well again The cut healed slowly.

Other Words from heal

healer noun
\ˈhē(ə)l \

Medical Definition of heal 

1 : to make sound or whole especially in bodily condition

2 : to cure of disease or disorder heal injured tissues

intransitive verb

1 : to return to a sound state the wound heals

2 : to effect a cure

Other Words from heal

healer \ ˈhē-​lər \ noun

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Comments on heal

What made you want to look up heal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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