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 At South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Rachael Kincaid, a nurse practitioner, spoke up from the back of the room. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2021 Education officials originally asked for $60 million, which would fund one nurse for every school. Trisha Powell Crain | Tcrain@al.com, al, 1 June 2021 As of 2020, Tennessee funded one nurse per 3,000 students. Laken Brooks, Forbes, 30 May 2021 That caught the nurses' attention, and one nurse called Bush's doctor and put Bush on a stretcher. Colleen Murphy, Health.com, 7 May 2021 One nurse left, and another reduced her hours to a single shift a week. New York Times, 1 May 2021 One nurse had her hair ripped out and suffered a fracture. Fox News, 3 Mar. 2021 One nurse, though, told her children their father was to blame for the outbreak and a staff shortage. WSJ, 2 Mar. 2021 One hospice nurse told me that many men let go after their wives leave the room for a bite to eat. Katie Engelhart, The Atlantic, 2 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb By diagnosing the problem, the mother uses a mix of home remedies, nutrition, activity, and rest to nurse her kids back to good health. Ganes Kesari, Forbes, 24 May 2021 An older man found her clutching her dead mother, still trying to nurse, placed her in a straw hat and carried her 37 miles to an orphanage in Danang. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 May 2021 Mass attackers, experts say, often nurse a sense of victimization. Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2021 Now there’s danger of stigmatizing vaccinated parents who are unable to, or choose not to, nurse their infants. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 31 Mar. 2021 The doe returns to nurse the fawn several times a day. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 May 2021 The zoo is temporarily housing the animals and are attempting to nurse them back to health. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 17 Mar. 2021 Okuma then noticed that the bird seemed sick, and proceeded to nurse it back to health. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 16 Mar. 2021 After weeks in the spotlight, Louisville's most famous rescue dog began the next part of his journey Wednesday as he was adopted by the same family that's helped nurse him back to health. Mary Ramsey, The Courier-Journal, 10 Mar. 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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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

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nurse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nurse. Accessed 15 Jun. 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

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

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