para·​med·​ic | \ ˌper-ə-ˈme-dik, ˌpa-rə-\
variants: or less commonly paramedical \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈme-​di-​kəl , ˌpa-​rə-​ \

Definition of paramedic

1 : a person who works in a health field in an auxiliary capacity to a physician (as by giving injections and taking X-rays)
2 : a specially trained medical technician licensed to provide a wide range of emergency services (such as defibrillation and the intravenous administration of drugs) before or during transportation to a hospital — compare emt

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The History of Paramedic

In ground warfare, wounded troops must usually be transported from the front lines back to field hospitals, and trained paramedical personnel—that is, nondoctors, usually known as medics or corpsmen—were first widely used in such situations. It took many decades for the wartime model to be applied effectively to ordinary peacetime medicine. With advances in medical technology (such as defibrillators, for restarting a heart after a heart attack), paramedics became an essential part of emergency medicine, and today hundreds of thousands of people owe their lives to paramedics. Paraprofessionals who work only in hospitals and clinics usually go by other titles.

Examples of paramedic in a Sentence

She's training to be a paramedic.

Recent Examples on the Web

The approval for AcelRx Pharmaceuticals ’s ACRX 15.66% lead treatment calls for Dsuvia to be administered by a health-care professional, for example a paramedic during transport, using a single-dose, prefilled, under-the-tongue applicator. Maria Armental, WSJ, "Noting Military Potential, FDA Approves Powerful Painkiller Dsuvia," 2 Nov. 2018 The child was carried out of the apartment to paramedics, who then performed CPR and took the child to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "5-month-old left in bathtub dies, Alabama authorities say," 24 Sep. 2018 Firefighters, paramedics, and police officers can opt for 25 percent off either of the unlimited plans AT&T announced back in June, shortly after it was acquired by Time Warner. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "AT&T offers unlimited plan deal for first responders, but it can be throttled," 7 Sep. 2018 Knudson said the Eurocopter 135 air ambulance crashed about 9:23 p.m. near the junction connecting Interstate 57 and the Bishop Ford Freeway with four people in it: the pilot, a paramedic, a flight nurse and the patient. Michelle L. Quinn, Post-Tribune, "Helicopter that crash-landed in Chicago over weekend originated from Hobart hospital," 9 July 2018 The condition of the victim, who was rushed to the hospital by Houston paramedics, is unknown. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Police search for suspect who shot 1 in southwest Houston," 5 July 2018 Jo Park-Ross, a paramedic in Cape Town, told the publication. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Woman, declared dead, found alive in morgue freezer," 3 July 2018 Derrick Haney, an Independence firefighter/paramedic, pulled the third-grader out of the car. Jennie Key,, "Witness of Pollitt family crash: 'They pulled the boy from the car, and my heart dropped'," 20 June 2018 Hanks kept the rest of the audience focused on him to allow the show’s crew, who are made up of military veterans with medical training, and later the paramedics, to treat the audience member without interruption. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Tom Hanks Wows with His Masterful Improv Skills After a Medical Emergency During Shakespeare Play," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paramedic.' 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 paramedic

1967, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for paramedic

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for paramedic

The first known use of paramedic was in 1967

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More Definitions for paramedic



English Language Learners Definition of paramedic

: a person whose job is to provide emergency medical care to sick or injured people who are being taken to a hospital


para·​med·​ic | \ ˌper-ə-ˈme-dik \

Kids Definition of paramedic

: a person specially trained to care for a patient before or during the trip to a hospital


para·​med·​ic | \ ˌpar-ə-ˈmed-ik \
variants: also paramedical \ -​i-​kəl \

Medical Definition of paramedic

1 : a person who works in a health field in an auxiliary capacity to a physician (as by giving injections and taking X-rays)
2 : a specially trained medical technician certified to provide a wide range of emergency medical services (as defibrillation and the intravenous administration of drugs) before or during transport to the hospital — compare emt

More from Merriam-Webster on paramedic

Spanish Central: Translation of paramedic

Britannica English: Translation of paramedic for Arabic Speakers

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