med·​i·​cate | \ˈme-di-ˌkāt \
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

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 In six years in assisted living, he’d never been medicated during the day., "Secret VA nursing-home ratings hid poor quality care from public," 18 June 2018 The resident had atrial fibrillation and other cardiac conditions and had been medicated to treat high levels of potassium., "State Fines Nursing Homes Following Injuries To Residents," 18 June 2018 The complaint alleges the U.S. is detaining immigrant minors in overly restrictive detention centers, denying their release to family members or other custodians and improperly medicating the minors with psychotropic drugs. Alejandro Lazo, WSJ, "Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Border-Detention Practices," 29 June 2018 If addiction is an attempt to medicate bad feeling, recovery forces the writer to experience it straight, like everyone else. Melanie Thernstrom, New York Times, "Can Sobriety Be as Interesting as Addiction? A Writer Wonders," 17 Apr. 2018 But there are many of us who need to be medicated indefinitely, and that the default belief about medication is that it is meant to be used on a short-term basis is extremely harmful. Danielle Tcholakian, The Cut, "What It’s Like to Know You’ll Be on Antidepressants for Life," 12 Apr. 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

23 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for medicate

The first known use of medicate was circa 1623

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More Definitions for medicate



English Language Learners Definition of medicate

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


med·​i·​cate | \ˈme-də-ˌkāt \
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 \
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

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