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 Doctors, nurses, residents, and union leaders crowded the room. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "Hunger, Infection, and Repression: Venezuela’s Coronavirus Calamity," 29 May 2020 Many crucial jobs that can’t be done remotely—teachers, nurses, home-health-care aides, day-care providers, supermarket clerks—are also often filled by women. Rachel Donadio, The Atlantic, "The Coming Setback for Women in the Workplace," 28 May 2020 Years of neglect had already hobbled Mexico’s health care system, leaving it dangerously short of doctors, nurses, and equipment to fight a virus that has ravaged far richer nations. BostonGlobe.com, "Red Cross says 208 COVID-related attacks on health workers," 28 May 2020 In fact, preliminary research on coronavirus in China showcases high rates of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, insomnia, and distress, which are much higher in nurses, women, and those on the front line. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "How COVID-19 Is Affecting Mental Health Practitioners," 23 May 2020 Research has found that an aversion to self-care contributes to high levels of burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder among doctors and nurses, whose suicide rates run well above national averages. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘You don’t feel alone’: How medical workers help each other cope," 20 May 2020 Yet burnout cannot capture what doctors, nurses, paramedics and others are experiencing as coronavirus overwhelms the health care system. Jillian Mock, Scientific American, "Psychological Trauma Is the Next Crisis for Coronavirus Health Workers," 20 May 2020 The coronavirus pandemic, and resulting economic downturn, has disproportionately affected some professions — doctors, nurses, teachers, small business owners, cashiers, and food-industry workers are just some of the folks on the front lines. Kathleen Newman-bremang, refinery29.com, "Will Canadian TV Be Even Whiter Post-COVID? A TV Writer Shares Her Worries," 19 May 2020 Asking victims to categorize their abuse, the Danger Assessment enables nurses, counselors, police, prosecutors, judges, and others to identify women most at risk of being killed by their partners. Caroline Fraser, The New York Review of Books, "When Will We Care About Domestic Violence?," 13 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For months, the couple had been nursing the pain of losing their old dog, Napoleon. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "In lockdown, they found someone – with four legs – to love (video)," 24 Apr. 2020 Eleven of the 78 people who have died of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County have been nursing home residents, officials said. Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times, "27 people at Bay Area nursing home positive for coronavirus: ‘We are very very concerned’," 3 Apr. 2020 Oregon was playing its ninth straight game without center N’Faly Dante, the Ducks’ highly touted freshman big man who has been nursing a knee injury but took warmups before Saturday’s game. Bruce Pascoe, azcentral, "Arizona misses opportunities, stunned by Oregon in overtime," 22 Feb. 2020 For 15 years, she's nursed them back to health and rehoused them in the US. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Almost 100 dogs had nowhere to go during Hurricane Dorian. A woman in Nassau took all of them in herself," 3 Sep. 2019 With Garoppolo out for the season because of a knee injury and C.J. Beathard nursing a wrist injury, Mullens made his NFL debut as the 49ers’ starting quarterback on Nov. 1, 2018, against the Oakland Raiders. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "49ers move to keep quarterback Nick Mullens," 6 Mar. 2020 The Pistons benefited from the absences of Magic standouts Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, both of whom are nursing ankle injuries. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "How Svi Mykhailiuk helped ignite Detroit Pistons' latest win: 'Exceptional job'," 26 Nov. 2019 Charlton, who is nursing a right elbow injury, was a limited participant in practice the last two weeks. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins hope at least one starting defender can return against Browns," 22 Nov. 2019 Deltuva will miss the rest of the season due to injury and the Mavs will also be without Grant and Garrett Boerner, who are nursing injuries as well. Megan Woodward, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Football: Playoff picture taking flight as Carroll’s teams prepare for Week 7 contests," 17 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 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nurse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nurse. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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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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