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

Oregon is one of only a handful of states that allow nurse practitioners to perform abortions. Markian Hawryluk, The Seattle Times, "Out-of-state residents drawn to Oregon’s access to abortions," 24 Nov. 2018 Duncan, who is a surf coach at Redondo Union High School, and Nohea, a nurse practitioner, soon also started to worry about Noah. Soumya Karlamangla, latimes.com, "Their daughter was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. Two weeks later, their son was too," 28 June 2018 Rachael completed the nurse-practitioner program at the University of Pennsylvania; Justin got a master’s in business. Anndee Hochman, Philly.com, "The Parent Trip: Rachael and Justin Pines of Fishtown," 27 June 2018 Those looking to use medical marijuana can become certified for the program by a registered practitioner, like a doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Jonathan Wolfe, New York Times, "Marijuana in New York: Here’s How the Laws Are Changing," 20 June 2018 The nuns and nurses face a variety of challenging issues such as interracial adoption, cleft palate and sickle cell. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Everything We Know So Far About Call The Midwife Season 9," 31 Mar. 2019 Kate Middleton and Emilia Clarke share a common goal, as both women are working with Nursing Now to bring awareness to the incredible work that nurses do all over the globe. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton & Emilia Clarke Share a Special Connection," 16 Mar. 2019 What do a nuclear engineer and a registered nurse have in common? Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "New congressional members with science backgrounds may help shape national policy," 7 Nov. 2018 Krystal Robertson, a 26-year-old nurse from Mississippi, also made headlines for her review of Fenty's Pro Filt'r Foundation in #110. Teryn Payne, Glamour, "One Year Later, This Is the Real Effect Fenty Has Had on the Beauty Industry," 14 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Brennan waved across the bar to his old friend Mike, an off-duty bartender nursing a pint of Guinness. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows," 27 June 2018 There was more, voiced privately, Klobuchar said — including whether Duckworth intended to change Maile’s diaper or nurse her new baby on the Senate floor. Laurie Kellman, BostonGlobe.com, "Babies of senators now welcome in Senate chamber," 19 Apr. 2018 There was more, voiced privately, Klobuchar said — including whether Duckworth intended to change Maile's diaper or nurse her new baby on the Senate floor. Laurie Kellman, chicagotribune.com, "Senate allows babies in chamber despite concerns from older, male senators," 18 Apr. 2018 Energy analysts believe that nursing the company back to health would require cutting nearly a third of its 48,000 employees, a painful blow to a country already suffering from 27% unemployment. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Power Struggle: Electricity Outages Hit South Africa Months Before Election," 14 Feb. 2019 Other lawmakers -- including attorneys, nurse practitioners, farmers and nursing home owners -- file bills that have to do with their industries frequently. Julia O'donoghue, NOLA.com, "John Bel Edwards vetoes bill meant to help businesses like House GOP chairman's," 5 June 2018 Blessed thistle, for instance, is a plant that was originally native to the Mediterranean and was used by monks in the Middle Ages to relieve digestion; its leaves are now sometimes recommended to nursing mothers in tea or capsule form. E.j. Dickson, Vox, "Inside the mommy-friendly, scientifically sketchy world of breastfeeding supplements," 20 Dec. 2018 Utopian though the dream of a more just and equitable soccer system may sound, that’s only more reason to nurse it. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "How Not to Scout for Soccer Talent," 14 June 2018 Upstairs, in tiny, wood-paneled The Wellington Pub, chill millennials threw darts and nursed craft beers, happily oblivious to the subterranean shenanigans. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Broad Ripple's Corner Wine Bar, The Wellington pub to close," 6 Mar. 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 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

23 Apr 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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