\ 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 Furthermore, our composite can heal itself and detect damage in a whole new way. Michael Ford, The Conversation, "Soft robots of the future may depend on new materials that conduct electricity, sense damage and self-heal," 7 Nov. 2019 The wound eventually healed, or at least as much as can be expected without adequate medical treatment, but Araminta herself was forever changed. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "The True Story Behind the Harriet Tubman Movie," 30 Oct. 2019 The scars on my cornea would never heal, but the infection had been successfully fought and stopped at the rim of my retina. Janine Di Giovanni, Harper's magazine, "Notes on a Crisis," 28 Oct. 2019 Some of the wounds have healed over and the conversation after minyan now includes things other than the shooting. Mallory Simon And Sara Sidner, CNN, "He saw his friends massacred. He has heard their names recited daily for a year.," 27 Oct. 2019 This could explain why knees and hips take longer than ankles to heal, and why arthritis is more common in hips and knees. Nancy Clanton, chicagotribune.com, "Humans’ ‘inner salamander’ capacity could regrow cartilage," 24 Oct. 2019 Luckily, that's often a same-day surgery and can take just 1–2 weeks to fully heal. Korin Miller, Health.com, "Miley Cyrus Has Been Hospitalized With Tonsillitis—Here's What You Need to Know About the Infection," 9 Oct. 2019 The other fracture can be healed only if Facebook et al. Graham Hillard, National Review, "Warren Would Break Up Big Tech. Conservatives, Make Your Pitch.," 8 Oct. 2019 Especially if the whispers are true that injuries suffered by wide receiver Laviska Shenault (undisclosed) and defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson (ankle) at Arizona State could take weeks, rather than days, to completely heal. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Keeler: With Laviska Shenault in limbo, CU Buffs will go as far as Steven Montez can carry them," 28 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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Time Traveler for heal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for heal

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Heal.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heals. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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

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