nurse

noun
\ ˈnərs \

Definition of nurse 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a woman who suckles an infant not her own : wet nurse

b : a woman who takes care of a young child : dry nurse

2 : one that looks after, fosters, or advises Time is the nurse and breeder of all good. —Shakespeare

3 : 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

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

2 : rear, educate

3a : to promote the development or progress of

b : to manage with care or economy nursed the business through hard times nursed a 1–0 lead

c : to take charge of and watch over

4a : to care for and wait on (someone, such as a sick person)

b : to attempt to cure by care and treatment

5 : to hold in one's memory or consideration nurse a grievance

6a : 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 an offspring from the breast

b : to feed at the breast : suck

2 : to act or serve as a nurse

Nurse

biographical name
\ ˈnərs \

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

Staff will include two teachers, two to three teaching assistants, an administrative assistant/school nurse, custodians and other staff. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "New Christian school to move into former Grissom Elementary," 11 July 2018 Missy Sparks, 26, wore the blue scrubs from her work as an ER nurse. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "In Ohio, Democratic U.S. Senator Sen. Sherrod Brown may ride Trump country to re-election," 2 July 2018 Lucky for Northup, his wife is an ER nurse and was able to stifle the bleeding and drive him to Metro Health, a Level 1 trauma center, in nearby Cleveland. Ashley Welch, CBS News, "Fireworks display gone wrong nearly cost firefighter his vision," 29 June 2018 My mom had been an emergency-room nurse and a physician’s assistant for 35 years. Kyle Dickman, Outside Online, "A Rattle with Death in Yosemite," 20 June 2018 Emergency personnel, including an off-duty nurse who was driving by, got to him quickly. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Trevor Thompson survived Erin Hills air blimp crash. This is the rest of the story," 13 June 2018 From 1991 to 1995, payroll records show, Marlyn Pruitt worked as a public school nurse in Jenks, a suburb of Tulsa, earning between $18,300 and $23,911 annually. Anchorage Daily News, "EPA chief Scott Pruitt tapped aide, donors to help wife land job at conservative group," 13 June 2018 An eagle-eyed nurse was watching reruns of Flip or Flop when something caught her eye: a concerning lump on Tarek's neck, which turned out to be cancerous. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "A Doctor Saved a Woman’s Life After Noticing a Lump on Her Neck While Watching Her on HGTV," 5 June 2018 As an Army nurse who helped care for thousands of Allied casualties, the invasion was the turning point of her life. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "At 100, Army nurse looks back on D-Day," 3 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dolphins ram their heads into the sides of pools, and sea lion pups try to nurse from each other instead of adult females. David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Did humans drive this polar bear insane?," 13 July 2018 That abundance of forage also helps keep does in good body condition and able to nurse fawns. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Texas’ deer population would welcome good soaking," 16 June 2018 Before Paul Casey pulled out to nurse a nagging back injury, all 50 of the top 50 players in both the FedEx Cup standings and the Official World Golf Rankings were set to tee it up. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Si Woo Kim Returns to Sawgrass Better Than Ever to Defend His Title," 9 May 2018 Even what drama there was, however, was fairly lukewarm stuff, as producers seem happier to nurse manufactured moments than portraying real, honest emotion. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "Really, 'Southern Charm New Orleans'? A swamp tour?," 7 May 2018 Hope is also a female dolphin, rescued in 2010, just a newborn trying to nurse from her dead mother. Richard Tribou, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Pinellas County: Winter and Hope hold court," 6 May 2018 Fox Valley Mall General Manager Scott Samson said given the long line and crowds, the security officer approached the mother to make her aware of options to nurse in the family lounge at the shopping center. Megan Jones, Aurora Beacon-News, "Moms protest after security guard confronted mother who was breastfeeding at Fox Valley Mall," 15 July 2018 As aides and supporters spilled out onto Northern Boulevard and the hour grew late, Crowley continued to nurse a beer and work the room. David Freedlander, Daily Intelligencer, "Ocasio-Cortez Not Only Beat Crowley — She Beat Old-School New York Politics," 27 June 2018 Shultz, who recently moved to Chesterton, intended to nurse Gracie back to health and find a good home for her. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Dog owner searches for missing St. Bernard mix: 'Please bring her home'," 24 May 2018

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 1a

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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Learn More about nurse

Dictionary Entries near nurse

Nureyev

Nuristan

Nuristani

nurse

Nurse

nurse's aide

nurse cell

Phrases Related to nurse

charge nurse

nursing school

staff nurse

Statistics for nurse

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nurse

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

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More Definitions for nurse

nurse

noun

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

: 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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of nurse 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a woman who suckles an infant not her own : wet nurse

2 : 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

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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Comments on nurse

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

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