\ 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 As the economy healed, the Fed reversed course and started to shrink its balance sheet. Matt Egan, CNN, "A crack just emerged in the financial markets: The NY Fed spends $53 billion to rescue the overnight lending market," 17 Sep. 2019 Bengals running back Joe Mixon played through a low ankle sprain in Week 2 but McCoy is eight years his elder, so his ankle may not heal as rapidly. Bill Enright, SI.com, "Week 3 Fantasy Football Injury Report," 17 Sep. 2019 Releasing the burden of their predator’s sins is just one of the many facets of healing the Surviving R. Kelly participants have discovered. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Win, Lose or Heal: The Women Of 'Surviving R. Kelly' On The Docuseries Impact," 15 Sep. 2019 Wilks was convinced that animal protein was required to build muscle, sustain energy, and heal. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "The New ‘Game Changers’ Documentary Proves Even Pro Athletes Can Eat Plant-Based," 15 Sep. 2019 What don’t western approaches to healing understand about depression or mental illness? Andrew R. Chow, Time, "The Creators of Bojack Horseman on Pushing the Limits of Adult Animation Even Further With Undone," 13 Sep. 2019 Doctors can provide oxygen, steroids and ongoing care while their bodies heal. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "‘These are 20-year-olds’: Vaping-related illnesses surface at San Antonio hospitals," 12 Sep. 2019 Their livers had less scarring and fat, and their muscles healed better and faster. The Economist, "Uncovering how the body ages is leading to drugs to reverse it," 12 Sep. 2019 Teachers can feels the effects of poverty in the classroom, and face the challenge of not only educating students, but supporting students in addressing and healing their trauma. NBC News, "Detroit may be going through a revival, but how does this impact education?," 6 Sep. 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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Statistics for heal

Last Updated

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for heal

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

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More Definitions for heal


How to pronounce heal (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heal

Spanish Central: Translation of heal

Nglish: Translation of heal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on heal

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a calculated move

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