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

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 Marta’s mother and sister don’t exist solely to raise the stakes of the young nurse’s involvement in Harlan’s death or her plans for the inheritance. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Unlikely Hero of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out," 29 Nov. 2019 His father was a physician who often played the church organ, and his mother was a nurse and secretary of a local music festival, according to the Times of London. Emily Langer, Washington Post, "Stephen Cleobury, celebrated choirmaster of King’s College, Cambridge, dies at 70," 27 Nov. 2019 The overseas nurses also help line up care for patients when discharged. John Diedrich, jsonline.com, "Some busy hospitals say they must turn away ambulances. Here's how one state banned the practice," 22 Nov. 2019 Computers may displace pathologists, but not the night shift nurse. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Boulder, Denver economies highly susceptible to disruption from artificial intelligence," 21 Nov. 2019 Her mother was a registered nurse with the New York State Department of Public Health. New York Times, "Rebecca Lansky, Miriam Scheiman," 10 Nov. 2019 Growing up in rural Wisconsin, though, Huston wanted to be a nurse. Anita Hassan, NBC News, "In rural Nevada, a one-room schoolhouse has educated generations of residents," 17 Oct. 2019 Yet the outgoing young woman, who dreamed of being a nurse, was pronounced dead the next day. Melody Petersen, Los Angeles Times, "Key cases where death probes were complicated by harvesting of body parts," 13 Oct. 2019 Sturch is a nurse in Chili, Indiana, and obviously felt compelled to stop and treat them. Aj Willingham, CNN, "A biker group's kindness, a great Disney idea and a very lucky monkey," 21 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Several lawsuits concerning nursing home discharges have recently been filed in the state. Katie Engelhart, NBC News, "Some nursing homes are illegally evicting elderly and disabled residents who can't afford to pay," 29 Nov. 2019 With Matthew Stafford out for the fourth straight game with fractured bones in his back, and Jeff Driskel nursing a sore hamstring, the Lions announced Wednesday night Blough would be the starter. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions: David Blough's 1st NFL TD is a beauty to Kenny Golladay," 28 Nov. 2019 But with Matthew Stafford out with a back injury and Jeff Driskel nursing a sore hamstring, rookie David Blough is set to make his first career start in Thursday’s Thanksgiving game against the Bears, the Lions announced Wednesday night. Dave Birkett, chicagotribune.com, "Lions rookie QB David Blough will start against the Bears on Thanksgiving," 27 Nov. 2019 Rookie point guard Darius Garland scored five quick points to help fuel a 9-2 surge to create a double-digit lead that the Cavaliers nursed the rest of the game. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers erase six-game losing streak, win 110-104 against Portland Trail Blazers," 24 Nov. 2019 Praça da República is a tempting spot to slow down and nurse a drink at a café, enjoying the relaxed tempo of local life. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "Tomar: The quiet, historic Portuguese town the tourists haven't discovered yet," 24 Nov. 2019 On Sunday, as the 49ers nursed a lead just inside the one-minute mark, on 3rd-and-3 at the Cardinals’ 28, Garoppolo went to Dwelley for a 3-yard gain. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "49ers’ super-sub Ross Dwelley putting rocket training to good use," 21 Nov. 2019 Playing without All-Stars Steph Curry (broken hand) and Klay Thompson (ACL recovery) and a few others nursing injuries, Golden State kept the game tight for two and a half quarters. Tom Orsborn, ExpressNews.com, "Patty Mills, Spurs defeat depleted Warriors," 2 Nov. 2019 Her own daughter’s health problems as an infant triggered Wilson’s interest in nursing almost 20 years ago. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Guiding cancer patients fulfilling for Deer Park nurse," 31 Oct. 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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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

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Nurse.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nurse?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=n&file=nurse001. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for nurse

nurse

noun
How to pronounce Nurse (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nurse

Spanish Central: Translation of nurse

Nglish: Translation of nurse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nurse for Arabic Speakers

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