1

nurse

noun \ ˈnərs \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of nurse

1 a : a woman who suckles an infant not her own : wet nurse
b : a woman who takes care of a young child : dry nurse
2 : one that looks after, fosters, or advises
  • Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.
  • —Shakespeare
3 : 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
4 a : a worker form of a social (see 1social 4b) insect (such as an ant or a bee) that cares for the young
b : a female mammal used to suckle (see suckle 1a) the young of another
  • a nurse cow

Examples of nurse in a Sentence

  1. The nurse will take your blood pressure before the doctor sees you.

  2. Nurse, may I have some water?

Recent Examples of nurse from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of nurse

Middle English norice, norce, nurse, from Anglo-French nurice, from Late Latin nutricia, from Latin, feminine of nutricius nourishing — more at nutritious

nurse Synonyms


2

nurse

verb

Definition of nurse

nursed; nursing
transitive verb
1 a : to nourish at the breast : suckle
b : to take nourishment from the breast of
2 : rear, educate
3 a : to promote the development or progress of
b : to manage with care or economy
  • nursed the business through hard times
  • nursed a 1–0 lead
c : to take charge of and watch over
4 a : to care for and wait on (someone, such as a sick person)
b : to attempt to cure by care and treatment
5 : to hold in one's memory or consideration
  • nurse a grievance
6 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
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

nurser

noun

Examples of nurse in a Sentence

  1. She is nursing her son through his illness.

  2. The couple nursed the business through hard times.

  3. He nursed the farm back to productivity.

  4. The team nursed a 1–0 lead until the last inning.

  5. The dog nursed her puppies.

  6. The baby nursed for several months.

  7. The puppies nursed for eight weeks.

Recent Examples of nurse from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of nurse

Middle English nurshen to suckle, nourish, contraction of nurishen

nurse Synonyms

Synonyms
administer (to), care (for), minister (to), mother, do for [chiefly British], look after, look out for, look to, see to, take care of, wait on (also wait upon)
Antonyms
abuse, ill-treat, ill-use, maltreat, manhandle, mishandle, mistreat, misuse
Related Words
cure, heal, remedy; doctor, treat; aid, conserve, preserve, provide (for), support; baby, coddle, mollycoddle, pamper, spoil; cater (to), humor; indulge
Near Antonyms
brush (aside or off), forget, ignore, neglect, overlook, slight

Nurse

biographical name \ ˈnərs \

Definition of Nurse

Sir Paul Maxime 1949–     British geneticist


NURSE Defined for English Language Learners

nurse

noun

Definition of nurse for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is trained to care for sick or injured people and who usually works in a hospital or doctor's office

  • : a woman who is paid to take care of a young child usually in the child's home


nurse

verb

Definition of nurse for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

nurse

noun \ ˈnərs \

Definition of nurse for Students

1 : a person skilled or trained in caring for sick or injured people
2 : a woman employed for the care of a young child

History for nurse

The English word nurse can be traced back to a Latin word nutricius that meant “nourishing” or “feeding.” In the past some mothers did not feed their babies at their own breasts but hired someone else to do so. The English word nurse was first used for such a woman. Later it came to be used for any woman hired to take care of a young child. The word nurse is also used now for a person who takes care of sick or injured people.


2

nurse

verb

Definition of nurse for Students

nursed; nursing
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.

Medical Dictionary

1

nurse

noun \ ˈnərs \

medical Definition of nurse

1 : a woman who suckles an infant not her own : wet nurse
2 : 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

nurse

verb

medical Definition of nurse

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


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