\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

We are gathered to heal from the wounds propelling us through our activism. Sadia Hassan, Longreads, "Silence is a Lonely Country: A Prayer in Twelve Parts," 13 July 2018 This boost of oxygen causes a few other symptoms, Keeton said, such as a resting body temperature of 100 degrees, an ability to heal faster from burns and abnormally smooth skin. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Meet Kenosha's Jamie 'Can Head' Keeton, the human suction cup," 12 July 2018 Burkett began competing as a Paralympian in an effort to begin to heal after the crash. Jennifer Griffin, Fox News, "Marine vet gets smart home (and independence) from Gary Sinise Foundation," 4 July 2018 The bone hadn’t begun to heal, so the injury, although likely not fatal in its own right, probably happened in the moments before death. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists armed with spears demonstrate how Neanderthals hunted," 28 June 2018 Ray, who has been rehabbing a right oblique strain suffered on April 29, threw a bullpen session on Monday at Chase Field and has fully healed from his injury, Lovullo said. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray penciled in for rehab start Thursday," 11 June 2018 Illinois law requires all school districts to create an oversight team to establish protocols for students to return to sports and physical activity as well as educational provisions for students while healing from a concussion. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Concussion protocol measure initiated by Neuqua Valley students advances to governor's desk," 1 June 2018 Relentless, the blisters usually come back for another go, sometimes before your skin even has a chance to heal completely from the previous round. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Types of Eczema You Should Know, Because There’s Actually More Than One," 31 May 2018 After years of slowly healing from past crises, European banks have recently had the luxury of turning their focus to boosting profit and shedding bad loans. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Who’s Most Vulnerable to Italy’s Troubles? Europe’s Banks," 30 May 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

4 Oct 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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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