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
6 : rear, educate

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

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

For the former nurse and health-care policy adviser, the issue of black women’s maternal health is personal. Helena Andrews-dyer, The Denver Post, "Finding the joy in black motherhood," 7 Sep. 2019 For the former nurse and health-care policy adviser, the issue of black women's maternal health is personal. al, "I wanted to read an article about black motherhood that wasn’t a horror story. So I wrote it.," 6 Sep. 2019 Health care for detainees is handled by a group of about 100 Navy doctors, nurses and medics who also staff the trooper clinic. New York Times, "The Cost of Running Guantánamo Bay: $13 Million Per Prisoner," 16 Sep. 2019 If signed by the governor, Assembly Bill 241 would require organizations that certify and provide continuing education classes for doctors, surgeons, nurses and physician assistants to have an implicit bias curriculum beginning in 2023. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, "California may soon push doctors and lawyers to confront their biases," 12 Sep. 2019 On Wednesday, about two dozen nurses and doctors watched Bueso’s testimony from a conference room in the hospital. Tatiana Sanchez, SFChronicle.com, "Concord immigrant with rare disease makes plea to reinstate visa program," 11 Sep. 2019 Access to the Avera Heart Hospital was blocked except for doctors, nurses and ambulances. CBS News, "Apparent tornado sweeps through Sioux Falls, South Dakota," 11 Sep. 2019 Year after year, Americans rank nurses and medical doctors as the most honest and ethical professionals. Lloyd Minor, Fortune, "Why Google’s Crackdown on Fake Medicine Is So Important," 9 Sep. 2019 The relaxing offseason that the Staffords had once planned for fun and relaxation was swallowed by doctors and nurses and nannies and rehab specialists. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, "Mitch Albom: Matthew Stafford's family crisis puts football in perspective," 8 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Grant, who suffered a season-ending left calf injury last season, and has been nursing a muscle strain for all but one week of training camp this summer, was slated to make $720,000 in the final year of his rookie deal. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins finalizing four-year extension for Jakeem Grant," 21 Aug. 2019 Yeaton has been nursing an injury and both women are among Alaska’s elite cross-country skiers who were worried about racing because of the air quality. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Hannah Lafleur beats the heat and a past champ to win the Mount Marathon women’s title," 4 July 2019 Kevin Durant has remained sidelined for the nine playoff games since nursing a strained right calf against Houston in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals a month ago. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "Warriors explain what it will take to overcome 3-1 series deficit to Raptors," 8 June 2019 Some obvious players who could be rested include tailback Chris Carson, who had 27 carries against the Chiefs, and receiver Doug Baldwin, who has been nursing a myriad injuries all season. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks ‘are working’ to keep Frank Clark, and more takeaways from Pete Carroll," 24 Dec. 2018 Correa has been nursing a stiff back since going on the disabled list June 26. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Carlos Correa out until after All-Star break," 13 July 2018 Bryant is eligible to be activated from the DL but has been nursing a sore left shoulder. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Kris Bryant remains out of Cubs lineup; Albert Almora Jr. returns to leadoff spot," 3 July 2018 Salah, one of world soccer’s breakout stars this season, has been nursing a shoulder injury since May 26, when an awkward fall while playing for Liverpool forced him out of the Champions League final. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Egypt Is ‘100 Percent’ Confident Salah Will Play," 14 June 2018 Netanyahu sells himself as the only one who can protect Israel from the rising tide of Iranian aggression and accelerate Israel’s global acceptance, nursing diplomatic relations with former adversaries across the Arab world. Washington Post, "Netanyahu and Gantz face off in repeat Israeli elections," 18 Sep. 2019

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nurse

Statistics for nurse

Last Updated

21 Oct 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
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

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

involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!