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 The wife, who works with COVID patients as an intensive care nurse, unwinds there by taking virtual yoga classes. BostonGlobe.com, "What to do with unused space above the garage? They splurged on a Vegas-style lounge," 26 Mar. 2021 Lawmaker Howard, who once worked as a critical care nurse at Austin’s Brackenridge and Seton hospitals, said the vendors’ premium rates probably pulled at least some Texas health-care workers away from existing gigs. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "$5B in federal COVID-19 relief to Texas paid for extra medical workers for overwhelmed hospitals," 26 Mar. 2021 In Europe, a 49-year-old intensive care nurse in Austria was one of the first cases. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "‘It’s a very special picture.’ Why vaccine safety experts put the brakes on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine," 17 Mar. 2021 For 10 of her 12 years in nursing, Ellsworth was an indefatigable intensive care nurse. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Traumatized and tired, nurses are quitting due to the pandemic," 25 Feb. 2021 Vilione walked back up to her unit after visiting her sister, who also works as a critical care nurse in a different ward at North Memorial. Star Tribune, "A duty to mend regret and heartbreak," 7 Feb. 2021 The critical care nurse wanted to help other women and communities of color who might be hesitant to get vaccinated. Renee Morad, NBC News, "From politics to the pandemic: How women changed the course of 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 The first vaccine in the state was given to a critical care nurse in Queens on Dec. 14. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Sandhill cranes, black-footed ferrets, Washington crossing the Delaware: News from around our 50 states," 28 Dec. 2020 Deirdre Carolan Doerflinger was Eva's primary care nurse. Jim Axelrod, CBS News, "Murder-suicide leads to history-making heart transplant, new life for DC woman," 26 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Marine mammals, like humans, nurse their young and live relatively long lives. Rosanna Xia, Star Tribune, "Sea lions are dying from a mysterious cancer. The culprits? Herpes and DDT," 11 Mar. 2021 Fifty years ago, the government used its procurement power to nurse the fledgling microprocessor industry into maturity. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Weekly Planet: Why Biden is Buying 645,000 New Cars," 26 Jan. 2021 In Florida, the honor went to nurse Vanessa Arroyo. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "How to make mental health care more accessible to women," 15 Dec. 2020 When the city’s mayor called for people to nurse the sick, collect bodies and dig graves, poor black men and women responded, working at great personal risk. The Economist, "The epidemic that exposed racial fissures in America – two centuries ago," 7 Oct. 2020 Then to nurse, to convalesce, to talk, to listen, to seek meaning. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "Something Was Wrong. My Nightgown Was in Flames," 10 Dec. 2020 Farid Dahdal tried to nurse his symptoms at home, thinking it best to avoid hospitals, many of which had been damaged by the massive explosion in the Mediterranean port city earlier that month. Marisa Gerber Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Column One: Three daughters mourn fathers in a sisterhood of grief," 9 Dec. 2020 Originally, Thomas was going to get sick and Maggie was going to nurse him. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "The Spanish Princess creators on the series finale and giving Catherine a proper send-off," 30 Nov. 2020 Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote but lost the electoral count to Trump in 2016, was barely given 24 hours to nurse her wounds before much of the country was tapping its toes anxious for her concession. Washington Post, "The president is golfing and exercising White male privilege," 18 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for nurse

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for nurse

Last Updated

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nurse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nurse. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nurse

Nglish: Translation of nurse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nurse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nurse

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