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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In both cases, the women were volunteering at the school and had to bring their younger babies along, who then needed to nurse. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "Here’s Where You Can — and Can’t — Legally Breastfeed in the U.S.," 13 June 2019 The backbiting and power struggles with nurses led one doctor to resort to sabotage. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "Do You Resist New Tech at the Office?," 10 June 2019 One of its owners is accused of a human trafficking scheme involving nurses from the Philippines. Andy Marso, kansascity, "Feds’ secret list of troubled nursing homes includes eight in KC area," 4 June 2019 There are just 3,800 psychiatrists, 898 clinical psychologists, and 1,500 psychiatric nurses to look after a country of 1.3 billion people. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "A dramatic suicide threat puts the spotlight on the deeply disturbed Indian employee," 4 June 2019 The health promoter, Luis Aguirre Jaramello, perches on a horse cart while a doctor and nurse begin check-ups. Nina Strochlic, National Geographic, "An unlikely feud between beekeepers and Mennonites simmers in Mexico," 12 Apr. 2019 There are even variations that include having the video chat at an actual clinic where an ultrasonographer or nurse first performs the ultrasound to ensure the correct gestational age of the pregnancy. SELF, "The Complicated Reality of Buying Abortion Pills Online," 8 Apr. 2019 End-of-life nurses reported that a Lack of Acceptance/Readiness occurs among patients at a marginally higher rate than Acceptance/Readiness. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 10 Mar. 2019 Here's some advice from doctors, dietitians, and nurses about exactly how much and what to eat while breastfeeding. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "The Best Breastfeeding Diet," 25 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dubbed the 40-foot pumpsuite on wheels, the Breast Express bus is traveling across the country to celebrate women who nurse and pump, while also supporting a community for breastfeeding, according to a press release. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Breast Express to visit Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti," 20 June 2018 Yet Zuckerberg’s remarks were neither meant to soothe the media (who continue to nurse their own damaged relationships with the platform) nor the 2.2 billion people who actively use Facebook. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—How Zuckerberg Acts in a Crisis," 5 Apr. 2018 And all without the services of Dean Wade, who continues to nurse a foot injury. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "The Dean Wade-less Wildcats emphatically find way to victory | The Kansas City Star," 16 Mar. 2018 Maine’s state legislature for the first time set aside a room for nursing mothers. Janet Hook, WSJ, "Young Women Aren’t Waiting to Seek Political Power," 14 Oct. 2018 But despite the affairs, Bernstein wrote in her book that Leonard stayed by his wife’s side and nursed her through her final battle with cancer. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Leonard Bernstein's daughter says pal Lauren Bacall 'was not a shut-in' after Humphrey Bogart's death in new memoir," 13 Sep. 2018 While much of the nation remembered McCain’s record as a war hero, longtime senator and presidential nominee over the weekend, Trump had nursed his grievances. Catherine Lucey, The Seattle Times, "Under pressure, Trump tersely recognizes McCain, lowers flag," 27 Aug. 2018 Tavern owners would have nursed a collection of empties, filling them as needed from casks of wine brought from foreign vineyards and beer brewed on the premises. The Washington Post, AL.com, "'The bender that began America': George Washington's boozy 1787 Constitution celebration," 22 Feb. 2018 After this overdose, his estranged wife, Khloé, nursed him back to health. Mariah Smith, Cosmopolitan, "When Did Kim Kardashian Become So Savage? A Sincere Look Back.," 2 Feb. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nurse

Statistics for nurse

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nurse

The first known use of nurse was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on nurse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nurse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nurse

Spanish Central: Translation of nurse

Nglish: Translation of nurse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nurse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nurse

What made you want to look up nurse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!