nurse

noun
\ ˈnərs How to pronounce nurse (audio) \

Essential Meaning of nurse

1 : a person who is trained to care for sick or injured people and who usually works in a hospital or doctor's office The nurse will take your blood pressure before the doctor sees you. Nurse, may I have some water?
2 old-fashioned : a woman who is paid to take care of a young child usually in the child's home

Full 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 The investigation of Wright began in March after police were notified by hospital officials of an incident involving the nurse and the patient who was in her care. James T. Norman, chicagotribune.com, 7 Oct. 2021 In elementary and most middle schools, that means a school nurse or test coordinator comes into a classroom with the testing supplies on a cart. Liz Bowie, baltimoresun.com, 6 Oct. 2021 So obviously, if the patient is not feeling comfortable with the physician or nurse... Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, 1 Oct. 2021 Nurses, especially, matter, said Mary Lou Manning, a nurse and professor at Thomas Jefferson University. Jen Christensen, CNN, 30 Sep. 2021 That’s especially taxing, given a nurse and doctor shortage, as many have grown frustrated by ... Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Sep. 2021 Afterward, the nurse and doctor sobbed with the patient. Nick Ehli, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Sep. 2021 Both the nurse and student have had COVID-19, according to court filings. BostonGlobe.com, 24 Sep. 2021 The parallel stories that diverge from that day find the same Joe with different careers — as a rock star (Yes, Wolk can sing), a nurse and a cop — not to mention a variety of romantic and familial relationships. Jeanne Jakle, San Antonio Express-News, 22 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Women lost babies because they were too malnourished to nurse them. Mondiant Dogon, Time, 8 Oct. 2021 Meanwhile, the entire nation discovered its dependence on caregivers, now understood as everyone who keeps us fed and watered—meatpackers, warehouse pickers, checkout clerks, baristas, and more—in addition to those who nurture and nurse us. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, 28 July 2021 Carey Mullis believes she was put on this earth to nurse. BostonGlobe.com, 24 Aug. 2021 Previously, the county allowed employees to take work breaks for up to one year after giving birth to nurse or pump breast milk. Becky Jacobs, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Aug. 2021 There, piglets and tiger cubs were put together in cages and would nurse from a sow or from a tiger, according to the New York Times. Nayeli Lomeli, USA TODAY, 31 July 2021 Pregnant women are warned to avoid consuming raw fish, or fish too far up the food chain, but to get enough nutrients; to avoid an induction but also not wait too long to give birth; to nurse on demand but keep the baby in a separate sleep space. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 9 Aug. 2021 The Clippers remained deliberative with handling Leonard’s health that included missing games in 2019-20 (15) and 2020-21 (20) to nurse various ailments. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 6 Aug. 2021 Gray whales spend winters in the shallow lagoons of Baja California, Mexico, where females nurse their calves and others cavort and mate. Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2021

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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Learn More About nurse

Time Traveler for nurse

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near nurse

Nuristani

nurse

Nurse

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Statistics for nurse

Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nurse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nurse. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for nurse

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

More from Merriam-Webster on nurse

Nglish: Translation of nurse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nurse for Arabic Speakers

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