med·​i·​cine | \ ˈme-di-sən How to pronounce medicine (audio) , British usually ˈmed-sən How to pronounce medicine (audio) \

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 Day to day, general medicine will be practiced largely through remote doctor's visits using the Internet. Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, "MASTERSON ONLINE: What lies ahead," 17 Oct. 2020 That modern medicine will test therapies for similar symptoms is reasonable and common, Brown said. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Bloodletting and gas fumes: Quack treatments of the 1918 flu," 17 Oct. 2020 This fear of nefarious medicine is perhaps understandable in a world where drug companies actually did, through lies and greed, spark an opioid epidemic that has killed nearly half a million people. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, "How to Persuade an Anti-Vaxxer," 16 Oct. 2020 The agency recommends pregnant women avoid NSAIDs after 20 weeks and opt for other medicine to treat pain and fever during pregnancy, such as acetaminophen. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Pregnant women should not take ibuprofen after 20 weeks, FDA says. It could harm the baby's kidneys.," 16 Oct. 2020 As of May, the business had about $380 million in annual revenue and dozens of customers including the asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) medicine maker Mylan Labs and micro-needle customer Radius Health. Dee Depass, Star Tribune, "Former 3M med-tech business to get new headquarters in Woodbury," 16 Oct. 2020 Hamilton is one of the country’s most respected experts in natural medicine and licensed naturopathic physicians. John Marc Sharpe | Contributing Writer,, "Virtual Spanish-language story times will resume at Orleans library," 16 Oct. 2020 Trained in law and economics as well as medicine, Shah takes a broad view of public health that relies on equal parts science, persuasion and empathy. Ellen Ruppel Shell, Scientific American, "How Straight Talk Helped One State Control COVID," 16 Oct. 2020 One day, Odabaşı called a woman in Kadıköy as part of a daily checkup and to schedule a time to drop off medicine. Katie Nadworny, National Geographic, "Turkey has been contact tracing for a century. That offers lessons and perils.," 15 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for medicine

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for medicine

Last Updated

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Medicine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for medicine


How to pronounce medicine (audio) How to pronounce medicine (audio)

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 How to pronounce medicine (audio) \

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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