med·i·cine | \ˈme-di-sən, British usually ˈmed-sən\

Definition of medicine 

1a : a substance or preparation used in treating disease cough medicine

b : something that affects well-being he's bad medicine— Zane Grey

2a : the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease She's interested in a career in medicine.

b : the branch of medicine concerned with the nonsurgical treatment of disease

3 : a substance (such as a drug or potion) used to treat something other than disease

4 : an object held in traditional American Indian belief to give control over natural or magical forces also : magical power or a magical rite

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Other Words from medicine

medicine transitive verb

Examples of medicine in a Sentence

He forgot to take his medicine. Did you look in the medicine cabinet for a pain reliever? Their research has led to many important advances in modern medicine. She's interested in a career in medicine.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The reorganization is the latest in the company’s monthslong strategic review of its over-the-counter medicines. Laine Higgins, WSJ, "The Score: The Business Week in 7 Stocks," 13 July 2018 These overwhelmingly opaque negotiations are what eventually determine what a patient pays for his or her medicine at the point of sale. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "3 Key Lessons From Trump's Drug Price Feud With Pfizer," 11 July 2018 The patient, Bingham said, obtained his medicine there. Anne Saker,, "Medical marijuana: Meet some of Greater Cincinnati's first doctors who can sign Ohio medical marijuana cards," 10 July 2018 In a statement, Pfizer addressed its price increases, saying: The list price remains unchanged for the majority of our medicines. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Pfizer raises prices on 100 drugs—again—despite backlash from public, lawmakers," 3 July 2018 After months of suspense, two pharmaceutical industry trade groups have agreed to drop a lawsuit against the state of Nevada over a new law that requires drug makers to report a wide array of pricing information about their diabetes medicines. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharma drops its lawsuit against Nevada over drug pricing transparency law," 29 June 2018 But doesn’t a bully need a taste of his own medicine? Jonathan Zimmerman,, "Trump’s critics must resist urge to sink to his rhetoric," 22 June 2018 Xavier fought back and gave the animal — black with yellow eyes — a taste of its own medicine. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "'I bite him.' Minnesota boy, 5, fights off mysterious animal he thought was a kitty," 12 June 2018 One of us eats potato chips with his blood pressure medicine and puts mayonnaise on his cholesterol. Kevin Fisher-paulson, San Francisco Chronicle, "With my teenagers, it’s my fault that everything’s my fault," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'medicine.' 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 medicine

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for medicine

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin medicina, from feminine of medicinus of a physician, from medicus

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Statistics for medicine

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for medicine

The first known use of medicine was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for medicine



English Language Learners Definition of medicine

: a substance that is used in treating disease or relieving pain and that is usually in the form of a pill or a liquid

: the science that deals with preventing, curing, and treating diseases


med·i·cine | \ˈme-də-sən \

Kids Definition of medicine

1 : something (as a pill or liquid) used to prevent, cure, or relieve a disease

2 : a science dealing with the prevention, cure, or relief of disease


med·i·cine | \ˈmed-ə-sən, British usually ˈmed-sən\

Medical Definition of medicine 

1 : a substance or preparation used in treating disease

2a : the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease

b : the branch of medicine concerned with the nonsurgical treatment of disease

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More from Merriam-Webster on medicine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for medicine

Spanish Central: Translation of medicine

Nglish: Translation of medicine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of medicine for Arabic Speakers

Comments on medicine

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


one that holds something together

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