med·​i·​cate | \ ˈme-di-ˌkāt How to pronounce medicate (audio) \
medicated; medicating

Definition of medicate

transitive verb

1 : to treat (someone or something) with or as if with medicine medicate a condition was medicated for pain/depression … is happily living his life one day at a time since he stopped drinking and otherwise medicating himself …— Charles Leerhsen
2 : to impregnate with a medicinal substance medicated soap

Examples of medicate in a Sentence

The patient had been heavily medicated.
Recent Examples on the Web One neat way that can be done in wild animals is to medicate individuals to remove the parasites and then see whether the avoidance behavior changes. Lucy Hicks, Science | AAAS, "From lobsters to honey bees, social distancing is common in the animal kingdom," 14 Aug. 2020 Kittens and cats that need to be medicated, spayed and neutered, that need to find homes for fostering and adoption. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Cocktails for Kittens — how Quinn Cummings stirred up a boozy lockdown fundraiser," 23 Apr. 2020 Editor's Note: Talk to your doctor about which over-the-counter medications are most appropriate for your case before medicating. Anonymous* As Told To Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "I'm a 22-Year-Old Battling a Rare Genetic Condition. Then I Got COVID-19.," 20 Mar. 2020 Some people are self-medicating with harmful results. Charles Ornstein, ProPublica, "What We Know — and Don’t Know — About Possible Coronavirus Treatments Promoted by Trump," 29 Mar. 2020 So until these or any drugs have been shown to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 in clinical trials and have been approved by the FDA, no one should be self-medicating. Scientific American, "Could Chloroquine Treat Coronavirus?," 27 Mar. 2020 Doctors strongly warn against self-medicating with the drug, which can cause rare but serious side effects. Fox News, "World turns to anti-virals in coronavirus fight, despite limited evidence," 24 Mar. 2020 Marlow is heavily medicated to keep her emotions at bay, and every bit of her life is choreographed. Heather Scott Partington, USA TODAY, "In novel 'Followers,' Megan Angelo imagines our scary social media future – and present," 14 Jan. 2020 Jack once again tries to reason with Nicky, who’s been self-medicating to make it through the days in Vietnam. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Just Dropped Two Massive Bombshells," 28 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'medicate.' 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 medicate

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for medicate

Latin medicatus, past participle of medicare to heal, from medicus

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Time Traveler for medicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of medicate was circa 1623

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Statistics for medicate

Cite this Entry

“Medicate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce medicate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of medicate

: to treat (a person or disease) with medicine and especially with drugs


med·​i·​cate | \ ˈme-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce medicate (audio) \
medicated; medicating

Kids Definition of medicate

1 : to treat with medicine You should medicate your sore throat.
2 : to add medicinal material to medicated soap
med·​i·​cate | \ ˈmed-ə-ˌkāt How to pronounce medicate (audio) \
medicated; medicating

Medical Definition of medicate

1 : to treat medicinally
2 : to impregnate with a medicinal substance medicated soap

More from Merriam-Webster on medicate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for medicate

Nglish: Translation of medicate for Spanish Speakers

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