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 In the 1990s, Hunter Hoffman, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Washington, began to use V.R. to provide relief to burn patients who were having their dressings changed — an excruciating ordeal that is difficult to medicate. New York Times, 26 Apr. 2022 One is that the animals were attempting to medicate themselves. Maddie Bender, Wired, 8 Mar. 2022 Psychiatrists and psychologists talk to us, shock us and above all, medicate us to lift us from our funks. John Horgan, Scientific American, 22 Dec. 2021 In Uganda the health ministry was compelled to issue a public statement warning the public against using the plant to medicate the effects of the virus. Stephen Kafeero, Quartz, 2 July 2021 So Lapp instead remained at the Alexandria jail, where a psychiatrist with the city's Community Services Board opted not to medicate him. Matthew Barakat, Star Tribune, 25 June 2021 Most of her life, Stansberry, 30, used drugs to self-medicate her mental distress. Fox News, 24 June 2021 It was revealed earlier this season that Coco's mother was a heroin addict, often using her young son to inject her as a nurse would medicate a patient. Rosy Cordero,, 21 Apr. 2021 Mehdizadeh said that modern marshmallow confectioneries will not medicate sore throats. Devon Link, USA TODAY, 7 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About medicate

Time Traveler for medicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of medicate was circa 1623

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near medicate



medicated candle

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for medicate

Last Updated

1 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Medicate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for medicate


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


transitive verb
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


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!