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

And with the anxiety levels, some of these kids are being medicated for mental-health issues that are stemming from youth sports decisions. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "How the Mariners Found Their Way After Losing Robinson Cano," 9 June 2018 Moreover, a 2015 CNN investigation found that air marshals were often medicated to help them sleep and, because of their hectic schedule, were also often sleep-deprived. John Mueller, Vox, "Airline terrorist attacks are extremely rare. It’s one reason TSA’s Quiet Skies program is a waste of money.," 4 Aug. 2018 Shorten ended up in the hospital and was medicated until the nail passed through her system. Mandy Major, Woman's Day, "10 Strange Objects Found in Food," 3 Nov. 2010 All of this trying to outrun the past with self-medicating and self-harm, instead of confronting it and trying to actually move forward. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Pointed Observations About Sharp Objects Episode 4," 30 July 2018 Instead of self-medicating with alcohol, Bingham sought the help of a therapist, who counseled her on how to work through the issues with her husband. Devin Tomb, Good Housekeeping, "“At 54, I Don’t Feel As Hopeful”: The Untold Story of Suicide in the U.S.," 21 Sep. 2018 Most people who are self-medicating willy-nilly with supplements will likely get no real benefit, and could possibly even harm themselves. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Adaptogenic dusts, oils, and pills have a veneer of science, but there’s not much evidence to back them up.," 2 Nov. 2018 Now, Laurie lives in a fortress-style compound, shooting at mannequins all day and self-medicating with alcohol. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Halloween Is More Than a Horror Movie—It's a Tribute to Mothers and Daughters," 20 Oct. 2018 There’s also neglect, when those unable to care for themselves are left malnourished, dehydrated, over- or under-medicated or forced to live in unhealthy conditions. Doug Williams,, "‘Excuse me, but where were you when all this was going on?’," 4 June 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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Statistics for medicate

Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for medicate

The first known use of medicate was circa 1623

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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


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on medicate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with medicate

Spanish Central: Translation of medicate

Nglish: Translation of medicate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on medicate

What made you want to look up medicate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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