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 husband of a Southern California nurse who died of complications from COVID-19 more than two weeks ago has now died after battling the disease himself, leaving behind five young children including a newborn girl. CBS News, 13 Sep. 2021 Psychological drama Wakefield takes a comedic look at the mystery of why psych ward nurse Nik Katira (Rudi Dharmalingam), known as the sanest person in the most unstable environment, begins to lose his own sanity. Ew Staff, EW.com, 13 Sep. 2021 For Webb, the presence of a nurse who knew of her ordeal was invaluable. BostonGlobe.com, 13 Sep. 2021 In the supporting roles, Sarah French does lovely work as a sympathetic nurse. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, 12 Sep. 2021 Davy was a labor and delivery nurse at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center. Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2021 Five children, including a newborn, have been left without both parents after a Southern California nurse died from COVID-19 complications two weeks ago, followed by her husband who died of the disease Thursday. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 12 Sep. 2021 Sue Rivera, the nurse manager at St. Anthony's ICU ward, challenged the thinking of those who believe vaccines are not necessary. Randi Kaye And Travis Caldwell, CNN, 11 Sep. 2021 Paice, an oncology nurse, was the lead author of a set of 2016 guidelines for managing chronic pain in cancer survivors. Isabella Cueto, STAT, 11 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Low-income workers may be struggling to find time to get a vaccine and nurse the potential side effects while juggling work and childcare. Sarah Todd, Quartz, 5 Aug. 2021 Every now and then, someone lasted through the hazing and got promoted, leading others to nurse false hopes of advancement. Benjamin Wallace, Vulture, 4 Aug. 2021 Tyron Smith continues to nurse elbow tendinitis, which is not considered serious. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, 1 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

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nurse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nurse. Accessed 23 Sep. 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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