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 The lack of available data at the state and local levels concerned some public health experts, including Dr. Maria Garcia, an assistant professor of medicine at UCSF and co-director of the Multiethnic Health Equity Research Center. Susie Neilson, San Francisco Chronicle, "California releases demographic data on who's getting coronavirus vaccines," 12 Feb. 2021 The invention of Covid-19 vaccines will be remembered as a milestone in the history of medicine, creating in a matter of months what had before taken up to a decade. New York Times, "Could a Single Vaccine Work Against All Coronaviruses?," 9 Feb. 2021 Based on similar literature, Anthony Komaroff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has warned that Long Covid could double the number of Americans with ME/CFS in the next two years. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "The Forever Disease: How Covid-19 Became a Chronic Condition," 2 Feb. 2021 Shraddha writes the Morning Rounds newsletter and covers health and medicine. Shraddha Chakradhar, STAT, "Sign up for our newest pop-up newsletter: WCLC in 30 seconds," 12 Jan. 2021 Participants can learn about cooking without recipes, food as medicine, culinary classics, vegan, vegetarian, desserts and more. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Food and drink news: Stone Creek Pixel Packs, Valentine's dinner," 22 Jan. 2021 Lending circles, called hui, are often used to pool money for medicine, houses, cars and burial expenses, Nguyen said. Star Tribune, "Mutual aid networks find roots in communities of color," 21 Jan. 2021 However, it is often assumed that for medicine, the knowledge and experience of doctors is the only domain expertise there is. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "How A.I. can speed up the COVID-19 vaccination drive," 5 Jan. 2021 Other common names for oshá include bear root, Porter’s lovage, Porter’s licorice-root, wild lovage, loveroot, Porter’s ligusticum, bear medicine, Colorado cough root, Indian root, Indian parsley, wild parsley, mountain ginseng and mountain carrot. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "How to make tea with herbs from your own garden," 4 Jan. 2021

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

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Medicine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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 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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