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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The previous clinic was manned by 2 mid-level nurse practitioners. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla’s on-site health clinic accused of undercounting worker injuries," 6 Nov. 2018 In the Australian woman’s case, which was first reported by Australian investigative show Four Corners, her fillers were reportedly administered by a nurse practitioner at a salon. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "An Australian Woman's Botched Facial Fillers May Have Caused Blindness in One Eye," 24 Aug. 2018 North of Sacramento, there is a complete lack of psychiatry residency programs as well as educational programs for psychologists and psychiatric nurse practitioners, according to the UCSF study. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "California needs more mental health professionals – and the shortage will get worse, experts say," 11 July 2018 Jones, a nurse who was eating with a companion, was able to restart Gudeman’s breathing as paramedics arrived. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Choking victim reunites with lifesaver nurse at Valparaiso restaurant: 'Because of you, I'm still alive'," 3 July 2018 Sarah, 33, nurse practitioner Amount owed: $115,000. Charlotte Cowles, The Cut, "How 5 Women Paid Off Their Student Loans in Under 10 Years," 29 June 2018 Mental-health nurses have been working in some police call-centres since 2013; others travel to incidents with cops. The Economist, "A blurred blue line for cops," 21 June 2018 The nurse was unharmed, but Spearman broke her middle finger and her index finger. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "A door on a Royal Caribbean ship crushed her hand. She sued for $20.3 million — and won," 4 June 2018 The doctors, the nurses and everyone, particularly my physical therapist Kathy, were wonderful. Lake County News-Sun, "Talk of the County: If Trump says so, it must be a lie," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "35 Fall Instagram Captions Perfect for Your Autumn Selfie," 29 Oct. 2018 Serena's using her power to restrict Offred's access to the baby, and Serena doesn't want anything to intrude on this state of pure bliss, and Offred is really being tortured by being so close to her kid, yet unable to even hold her and nurse her. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Handmaid's Tale' Just Set the Stage for "Powerful" Season 2 Finale," 4 July 2018 Animal Control took the raccoons to an animal rescue facility in Weymouth to be nursed back to health, Barkas said. Laney Ruckstuhl, BostonGlobe.com, "Quincy police rescue five baby raccoons," 1 May 2018 Policies designed to cover expenses like nursing homes and assisted living had proved to be a disaster for insurers who had drastically underestimated the costs. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out," 14 Dec. 2018 The mornings-after were wretched, nursing hangovers and swollen, bloodied toes. Krystyna Chávez, Marie Claire, "The Item I Wear to Death: Sam Edelman's Block Heel Mule Sandals," 14 Nov. 2018 Air travel is about to become a lot more comfortable and convenient for nursing moms. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Breastfeeding Rooms Will Now Be Required at All Major Airports," 16 Oct. 2018 The following morning, hangovers were nursed over brunch at the chateau. John Dolan, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Couple Didn't Believe in Love at First Sight–Until It Happened to Them," 6 Aug. 2018 He is nursed to health and develops a friendship with two humans who attempt to tame him. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Friday: ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ and the World Cup," 6 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nurse

Statistics for nurse

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nurse

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on nurse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nurse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nurse

Spanish Central: Translation of nurse

Nglish: Translation of nurse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nurse for Arabic Speakers

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who helps groups work together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!