nurse

1 of 2

noun

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
2
a
: 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
4
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

nursed; nursing

transitive verb

1
a
: to nourish at the breast : suckle
b
: to take nourishment from the breast of
2
a
: to care for and wait on (someone, such as a sick person)
b
: to attempt to cure by care and treatment
3
a
: 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
5
a
: 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

intransitive verb

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

Example Sentences

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 Justice Department in a civil case on Friday said Christopher Manacci, a nurse practitioner, ran Nightingale Centers for Regenerative Medicine. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 13 Jan. 2023 Lauren Ghazal, PhD, FNP-BC is a family nurse practitioner in New York City. Lauren Ghazal, CNN, 12 Jan. 2023 One nurse can have as many as 15 patients, and even more when covering for a colleague who is on break. Sharon Otterman, New York Times, 11 Jan. 2023 One nurse cannot care for more than five patients at a time. Kaitlin Sullivan, NBC News, 11 Jan. 2023 His children, son Ali H. is an orthopedic surgeon, son Hamzy H. an attorney, daughter Zeinab H. is a dentist, and daughter Sara Sobh-Abazeed is a nurse practitioner. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 11 Jan. 2023 Following software developer in the overall rankings is nurse practitioner at No. 2, medical and health services manager at No. 3 and physician assistant at No. 4. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 11 Jan. 2023 One nurse who did walk through the hallways with a flashlight passed Dowdell’s room while Lee was inside but did not look through the window, then falsely reported that Dowdell and the other patient were in their beds, the report said. Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2022 At Next Step Healthcare, one staff nurse called in sick and tried to cover her own shift by working through an agency in order to make $10-plus more an hour, Dell’Anno said. Katie Johnston, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Dec. 2022
Verb
The lactation results were less conclusive, with half of the prairie voles able to nurse without the oxytocin receptor, researchers said. Ana Faguy, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 No one — certainly no one trying to nurse the sick back to health — deserves to go to work to get yelled at, to have food thrown at them or get pushed into the wall. Dallas News, 13 Jan. 2023 Ware Ranch Steak House Enjoy a tasty breakfast or brunch to fuel up before your New Year’s Eve festivities — or to nurse the subsequent hangover on New Year’s Day — at this Roseland restaurant and get 10% off breakfast menu items. Samantha Nelson, Chicago Tribune, 22 Dec. 2022 In the 19th century, wet-nursing — where women were paid to nurse someone else's child — was widely practiced in Europe. Claire Moran, CNN, 20 Dec. 2022 That has pushed inflation to decades high levels in many countries, complicating efforts to nurse along recoveries from the pandemic and raising the risks of recession for many economies. Elaine Kurtenbach, ajc, 15 Nov. 2022 Many developing economies are caught between fighting inflation and trying to nurse along recoveries from the pandemic. Adam Schreck, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Nov. 2022 In the last couple of years, the sport has started to nurse something of a fixation on that period, what might be termed its early modern age. Rory Smith, New York Times, 14 Oct. 2022 The off week allows players to nurse their nicks and bruises. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near nurse

Cite this Entry

“Nurse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nurse. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

nurse

1 of 2 noun
1
: a woman who has the care of a young child
2
: a person skilled or trained in caring for the sick and in maintaining good health in those who are not sick and who works either independently or under the supervision of a physician
3
: a worker of a social insect (as an ant or bee) that cares for the young

nurse

2 of 2 verb
nursed; nursing
1
: to feed at the breast : suckle
2
3
: to manage with care or economy
nursed the business through hard times
4
: to care for and wait on (as a young child or sick person)
nursed me back to health
5
: to hold in one's memory
nurse a grudge
6
: to treat with special care
nursed the car over the rough road
nurser noun

Medical Definition

nurse

1 of 2 noun
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

2 of 2 verb
nursed; nursing

transitive verb

1
a
: to nourish at the breast : suckle
b
: to take nourishment from the breast of : suck milk from
2
a
: 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

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

Biographical Definition

Nurse

biographical name

Sir Paul Maxime 1949–     British geneticist

More from Merriam-Webster on nurse

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