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

By increasing carb intake, women may be self-medicating with food to cause that serotonin bump in order to feel better. Sara Twogood, Quartz, "The science behind why you crave carbs when you’re on your period," 7 Aug. 2019 In addition to selling cannabis products including marijuana flower and concentrate, customers can purchase medicated food from the Mint Dispensary kitchen. Lauren Saria, azcentral, "This cannabis kitchen serves up THC-infused pizza and burgers. Here's a look inside," 4 June 2019 Through his research, Tarantino learned the actor had a drinking problem due to self-medicating his apparent undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Quentin Tarantino Explains Choice to Make Leonardo DiCaprio's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Character Bipolar," 31 July 2019 Coconut oil is safe for a dog’s nose, but don’t use baby oil or medicated ointments. Heloise, Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Dogs in the heat and Pet of the Week," 20 July 2019 They aren’t being treated, properly medicated or supervised. Christine Pelisek,, "Dog Follows 'Tiny Pinpricks of Blood' to Woman Allegedly Chained Up in Neighbor's Basement," 12 June 2019 Struggling with the loss of both the grandmother and aunt who raised her, Johnson started medicating the sinking feeling of grief with drugs., "50 years after Stonewall, black transwomen fight for change in Birmingham," 28 June 2019 Or, in secular terms, did this incandescent woman, unschooled and hyperactive, find a protective community and self-medicate her way to some sort of serenity? J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, "Barbara Rubin, Shameless Angel of Avant-Garde Cinema," 21 May 2019 Courtesy Sarah Gad In July of 2015, I was arrested for my third nonviolent drug offense and spent five days in jail detoxing from a 1,000 mg/day oxycodone habit—enough to medicate about 100 people. Sarah Gad, Marie Claire, "My Drug Overdose Saved My Life. Now I'm Saving Others.," 15 Mar. 2019

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

17 Aug 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 shake or wave menacingly

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