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

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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

Although a nurse agreed at her last appointment at Dilley on the need for a more thorough exam, instead Juárez and her daughter were released and sent to New Jersey, where her mother lives. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "House oversight panel puts 'kids in cages' under scrutiny: 'This government sponsored child abuse'," 10 July 2019 The guard mistook the man’s shaking for an attack on a nurse. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Woman punched, pepper-sprayed in restraint chair by Cuyahoga County Jail officers sues county," 10 July 2019 Amid the chaos of the dead and wounded, a nurse directed him to lay the boy on a mattress in a fourth-floor hallway. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "In the chaos of the Hartford circus fire, a 6-year-old boy disappeared; now, 75 years later, his family wants to find out what happened to him," 7 July 2019 That's when a charge nurse discovered Schneider hadn’t received any antibiotics. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "The 'sad, scary case' of how a nursing home whistleblower exposed a fatal cover-up," 3 July 2019 School employees also follow individual plans written for a diabetic student by a doctor or a nurse. Christine Hauser, New York Times, "Utah Family Sues After Son With Diabetes Is Kept From School," 29 June 2019 In early December, a nurse at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center gave a 23-year-old leukemia patient a blood transfusion that, unbeknownst to the medical staff, had become contaminated with bacteria. Mike Hixenbaugh, NBC News, "No one should die from a blood transfusion. So why did it happen at MD Anderson, the nation's top cancer hospital?," 26 June 2019 She's got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital. Natalie Gil, refinery29.com, "A Brief History Of Boris' Most Sexist & Homophobic Comments," 25 June 2019 Brooke Chytil moved from Washington state to attend GCU in 2018 with hopes of becoming a nurse. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "GCU student claims she was recruited on a false promise, forced to alter career plan," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This breakfast spot has long been a staple of the neighborhood for which it is named, with its extra large pancakes, dolled up waffles and eggs cooked every which way attracting young families, friends and those nursing a hangover alike. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Highland Morning may be a Bardstown Road staple, but it fails to impress," 19 June 2019 Lueck, a pre-nursing student studying kinesiology, went missing June 17 after arriving at the Salt Lake City airport following her grandmother’s funeral in Los Angeles. Hannah Fry, latimes.com, "Utah man killed missing El Segundo college student and burned her body, police say," 28 June 2019 In some instances observed by inspectors, nursing staff failed to take steps necessary to protect frail patients from the risk of falls. Mike Hixenbaugh, ProPublica, "Blistering Report Details Serious Safety Lapses at St. Luke’s in Houston," 17 May 2019 Van Runkle said staffing remains an issue for nursing home owners and cited the economy. John Caniglia & Jo Ellen Corrigan, cleveland.com, "Nursing home assistants among Ohio's most dangerous occupations: A Critical Choice," 8 Apr. 2018 Sale ended his outing by blowing a third strike past Keon Broxton with runners on the corners and Boston nursing a 3-2 lead. courant.com, "Sale fans 10 to help resurgent Red Sox beat Orioles 7-2," 16 June 2019 But that peril is only half the story. Because for those weeks in the hospital and at home, nursing my mangled foot, the analgesic effects of opioids were all that made life worth living. Travis Rieder, WSJ, "The Perilous Blessing of Opioids," 14 June 2019 Some cats experts hypothesize that adult cats associate kneading with the comfort observed in kittens nursing to stimulate their mother’s milk. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Does Your Cat Love You? 10 Unique Ways Felines Say Those Three Little Words," 13 June 2019 The Phoenix campus covers nearly 1 million square feet and includes on-site fitness, physical and massage therapy, energize and relaxation areas and nursing mother rooms. Leigh Farr, azcentral, "Ranking of the 2019 Top Companies to Work for in Arizona: Large Company Category," 13 June 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.

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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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Statistics for nurse

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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
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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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

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