\ ˈhēl How to pronounce heal (audio) \
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

His visits to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso after the gun massacres in those cities served to divide rather than heal. NBC News, "Five political storylines to watch this fall," 3 Sep. 2019 Kara Stevens is founder of The Frugal Feminista, a personal finance site committed to helping black women heal their relationship with money, save for the fun and the future, destroy debt, and live life on their own terms. Kara Stevens, Essence, "4 Money Moves to Make Before Your #HotGirlSummer Comes To A Close," 29 Aug. 2019 Nelson Mandela once told Robbins that the film's depiction of incarceration hit home - as did its message that hope can heal. Zachary Pincus-roth, chicagotribune.com, "The unlikely greatness of ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ 25 years later," 29 Aug. 2019 Now Dhliwayo is focused on curating a series sharing wide-ranging stories of healing from black and brown folks. Ryan Walker-hartshorn, Bon Appétit, "Sinikiwe Dhliwayo Wants Everyone to Chill Out in Triangle Pose," 27 Aug. 2019 Our plan breaks down the barriers around mental health and builds up a sense of belonging that will help millions of suffering Americans heal. Jack Turman, CBS News, "Buttigieg unveils plan to improve mental health care and fight addiction," 23 Aug. 2019 In rooms below: an idle booth, Scotch, a tune by a lad long dead Warm the heart and heal the head — The afterglow of someone’s youth. Lee Oser, National Review, "New London Ferry," 22 Aug. 2019 In 2016, a Japanese scientist won a Nobel Prize for his work showing that fasting can help cells regenerate and heal the body. Alex Kuczynski, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside Silicon Valley's Dangerous New Obsession With Fasting," 17 Aug. 2019 While the patient featured in the new case report healed well, these stories don’t always have a happy ending. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, "This Man's Dentures Were Stuck in His Voice Box for 8 Days After a Routine Procedure," 13 Aug. 2019

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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Learn More about heal

Dictionary Entries near heal


head yard






Statistics for heal

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce heal (audio) \
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 How to pronounce heal (audio) \

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 How to pronounce healer (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on heal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heal

Spanish Central: Translation of heal

Nglish: Translation of heal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heal for Arabic Speakers

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).


to make a temporary encampment

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