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 What's more, those crisis patients often self-medicate their own symptoms with drug and alcohol use. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County wants to retool the way it helps people suffering from a mental health crisis. Consensus is lacking.," 24 July 2019 Mercedes is one of a growing number of people who are self-medicating with psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms to aid in everything from concentration and creativity to alleviation of chronic anxiety and depression. Allure, "Your Guide to Microdosing for Anxiety and Depression," 19 Apr. 2019 Even with a house call, your dog may still need to be medicated to reduce her stress. Cathy M. Rosenthal,, "Pet World: A vet who does house calls may help reduce pet’s fear," 23 Aug. 2019 Before February 2018, when his son overdosed on fentanyl, Gary Carter thought the worst was over after a yearslong habit of self-medicating to soothe recovery from knee surgeries and flare-ups of an autoimmune disease. Alison Kuznitz,, "‘These are all people’s children’: Protesters remember addiction victims as Purdue Pharma seeks to dismiss Mass. lawsuit," 2 Aug. 2019 But if that horse is medicated, the vet might not detect an issue that could later prove fatal. Nick Watt, CNN, "Santa Anita track owners and trainers under investigation after 29 horse deaths," 21 June 2019 What resources are available for someone who is clinically depressed and self-medicating? -- TRYING TO HELP IN THE WEST DEAR TRYING: Support groups for people who are depressed and/or have emotional issues exist. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: How to help a friend who’s struggled with depression for years, but isn’t interested in help," 13 Sep. 2019 Durham later told reporters that Haskell is medicated and sedated. Washington Post, "Prosecutor: Man accused of killing 6 ‘fueled by vengeance’," 26 Aug. 2019 In March, Belinda Stronach announced in an open letter sweeping changes in the way horses would be medicated and examined at Santa Anita. Tod Leonard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Del Mar set to open as scrutiny of racing intensifies," 15 July 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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Time Traveler for medicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of medicate was circa 1623

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Statistics for medicate

Last Updated

23 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Medicate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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

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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).


very cautious or careful

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