nurse

noun
\ ˈnərs How to pronounce nurse (audio) \

Definition of nurse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a person who cares for the sick or infirm specifically : a licensed health-care professional who practices independently or is supervised by a physician, surgeon, or dentist and who is skilled in promoting and maintaining health — compare licensed practical nurse, registered nurse
2a : a woman who suckles an infant not her own : wet nurse
b : a woman who takes care of a young child : dry nurse
3 : one that looks after, fosters, or advises Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.— Shakespeare
4a : a worker form of a social (see social entry 1 sense 4b) insect (such as an ant or a bee) that cares for the young
b : a female mammal used to suckle (see suckle sense 1a) the young of another a nurse cow

nurse

verb
nursed; nursing

Definition of nurse (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to nourish at the breast : suckle
b : to take nourishment from the breast of
2a : to care for and wait on (someone, such as a sick person)
b : to attempt to cure by care and treatment
3a : to manage with care or economy nursed the business through hard times nursed a 1–0 lead
b : to promote the development or progress of
c : to take charge of and watch over
4 : to hold in one's memory or consideration nurse a grievance
5a : to use, handle, or operate carefully so as to conserve energy or avoid injury or pain nurse a sprained ankle
b : to use sparingly
c : to consume slowly or over a long period nurse a cup of coffee

intransitive verb

1a : to feed at the breast : suck
b : to feed an offspring from the breast
2 : to act or serve as a nurse

Nurse

biographical name
\ ˈnərs How to pronounce Nurse (audio) \

Definition of Nurse (Entry 3 of 3)

Sir Paul Maxime 1949–     British geneticist

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Other Words from nurse

Verb

nurser noun

Examples of nurse in a Sentence

Noun The nurse will take your blood pressure before the doctor sees you. Nurse, may I have some water? Verb She is nursing her son through his illness. The couple nursed the business through hard times. He nursed the farm back to productivity. The team nursed a 1–0 lead until the last inning. The dog nursed her puppies. The baby nursed for several months. The puppies nursed for eight weeks.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On Saturday, a nurse and four medical technicians with the National Guard arrived at the nursing home in medical scrubs to provide help with resident care for up to two weeks. Chris Serres, Star Tribune, "National Guard called in to help contain COVID outbreaks at two Minnesota nursing homes," 14 Oct. 2020 For example, a doctor connected via video through a tablet mounted on a cart could oversee an exam in a hospital room while instructing a nurse or colleague to collect relevant treatment and health data—and also talk to the patient. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "Teladoc Sues Rival Over Hospital Robot Patents," 13 Oct. 2020 Blank said even antigen tests administered at a workplace, a university or a school usually involve a nurse or other official who takes charge of reporting. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Cheap, rapid, at-home tests could rival a vaccine in the fight against COVID. Why can't Americans get them?," 7 Oct. 2020 If the doctor or nurse orders a COVID-19 test, a student who tests negative must provide proof of that result, and remain home for 72 hours after symptoms resolve. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "What if a student has COVID-19? Here’s what schools will do," 3 Oct. 2020 Before the deadly shooting, Rittenhouse lived with his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, a single mom and nurse’s assistant, in a quiet apartment complex beside a park in Antioch, a bedroom community that sits just south of the Wisconsin border. Washington Post, "Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse idolized police," 21 Sep. 2020 Two and a half months prior, in June, Rhodes-Johnson had filed a follow-up report to the district attorney detailing new interviews with Stewart’s mother, the school nurse and Stewart herself. Anchorage Daily News, "Her stepfather admitted to sexually abusing her. That wasn’t enough to keep her safe.," 18 Sep. 2020 The son of Portuguese emigres, a nurse and a boat mechanic, Souza worked as a Chicago Tribune photographer (1998-2007) and, before that, a Chicago Sun-Times photojournalist (one of 25 — 25! — in 1982-1983). Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘The Way I See It’ review: The Obama years, through the lens of longtime Chicago photographer Pete Souza," 15 Sep. 2020 This gave Leah, a nurse and single mother, time to prepare her two teenage kids, put her cat in the travel carrier, and pack up her work computer. Emma Pattee, Glamour, "Oregon Fires: What People Took and What They Left Behind," 14 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb From birth, Quincy did not nurse as readily as her older sister had. Lydia Denworth, Science | AAAS, "Is gene therapy ready to treat some forms of autism?," 14 Oct. 2020 Without water, his wife was eventually unable to nurse the boy. Washington Post, "Fleeing chaos and hardship, Lebanese have begun braving perilous seas," 26 Sep. 2020 The former couple split in May, two months after Randolph helped nurse Underwood back to health following his battle with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Cassie Randolph Wants Colton Underwood ‘to Get Whatever Help He Needs’: Source," 14 Sep. 2020 Not every parent has the ability to nurse a tiny human from their breasts around the clock, and pumping bras can be a great solution for lactating mothers who like to keep extra breast milk on deck. Talia Abbas, Glamour, "The 13 Best Nursing and Pumping Bras to Help Make Breastfeeding Easier," 25 Sep. 2020 Between bouts of good rest, Mei Xiang appeared to nurse her cub and was very attentive to its vocalizations. Michael Brown-palsgrove, Laurie Thompson, Smithsonian Magazine, "Top 10 Giant Panda Cub Cam Moments," 21 Aug. 2020 Yet over the course of a couple weeks, something shifted: Zoey, who had been so miserable for so long trying to nurse, was acting like herself again. Beth Anne Macaluso, Redbook, "This Incredible Viral Photo Proves Once and For All That Fed Is Best," 5 Oct. 2017 In 2019, the shelves started to fill up, and on one of them was the N95 that would make its way to nurse Kelly Williams. Washington Post, "The N95 shortage America can’t seem to fix," 21 Sep. 2020 Panda mothers often will nurse and pay attention to only one cub. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "The Miracle of Breeding a Panda Cub During a Pandemic," 22 Aug. 2020

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for nurse

Noun

Middle English norice, norce, nurse, from Anglo-French nurice, from Late Latin nutricia, from Latin, feminine of nutricius nourishing — more at nutritious

Verb

Middle English nurshen to suckle, nourish, contraction of nurishen

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Time Traveler for nurse

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for nurse

Last Updated

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nurse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nurse. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for nurse

nurse

noun
How to pronounce Nurse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nurse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who is trained to care for sick or injured people and who usually works in a hospital or doctor's office
old-fashioned : a woman who is paid to take care of a young child usually in the child's home

nurse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of nurse (Entry 2 of 2)

: to take care of or help (someone who is sick or injured)
: to give special care or attention to (something) : to try to keep (something) from failing
: to feed (a baby or young animal) with milk from the mother's body

nurse

noun
\ ˈnərs How to pronounce nurse (audio) \

Kids Definition of nurse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person skilled or trained in caring for sick or injured people
2 : a woman employed for the care of a young child

nurse

verb
nursed; nursing

Kids Definition of nurse (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to feed at the breast : suckle
2 : to take care of (as a young child or a sick person) She nursed me back to health.
3 : to treat with special care or attention Nurse that ankle until it's all healed.

nurse

noun
\ ˈnərs How to pronounce nurse (audio) \

Medical Definition of nurse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who cares for the sick or infirm specifically : a licensed health-care professional who practices independently or is supervised by a physician, surgeon, or dentist and who is skilled in promoting and maintaining health — see licensed practical nurse, licensed vocational nurse, registered nurse
2 : a woman who suckles an infant not her own : wet nurse

nurse

verb
nursed; nursing

Medical Definition of nurse (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to nourish at the breast : suckle
b : to take nourishment from the breast of : suck milk from
2a : to care for and wait on (as an injured or infirm person)
b : to attempt a cure of (as an ailment) by care and treatment

intransitive verb

1a : to feed an offspring from the breast
b : to feed at the breast : suck
2 : to act or serve as a nurse

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