para·​med·​ic | \ ˌper-ə-ˈme-dik How to pronounce paramedic (audio) , ˌpa-rə- \
variants: or less commonly paramedical \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈme-​di-​kəl How to pronounce paramedic (audio) , 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 Verena Kansog hasn't visited her mother in a year, fearing her work as a New York City paramedic would expose her to the coronavirus. Jim Mustian, ajc, "After months on front lines, New York EMTs receive vaccines," 23 Dec. 2020 Roughly a dozen have been hospitalized and one firefighter-paramedic, Jose Perez, died of COVID-19 complications in July. Los Angeles Times, "Los Angeles firefighters and paramedics receive first COVID-19 vaccine doses," 28 Dec. 2020 Peter Canning, UConn Health EMS Coordinator and a paramedic of 25 years in the Hartford region, said that his views on those with substance use disorder evolved significantly over the course of his career. Eliza Fawcett,, "Connecticut projected to exceed last year’s number of fatal overdoses, as COVID-19 results in isolation and fentanyl drives deaths; over 1,300 fatalities expected in 2020," 18 Dec. 2020 Olmsted Township firefighter/paramedic Rob Crowe is the contact person in this drive with the U.S. Marines. cleveland, "Fire station drive-thru sparks Toys for Tots donations: Olmsted Dates and Data," 16 Nov. 2020 After several years in the medic unit Cortez graduated from the department’s academy and began working as a firefighter-paramedic at Station 3 in the Tenderloin. Rachel Swan,, "SF firefighter died after water blast pushed him off fire escape during training exercise, report says," 11 Oct. 2020 While being transported to South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Lucas allegedly battered a paramedic by punching him numerous times with a closed fist, according to a police report. Daily Southtown Staff,, "Southland crime: Vehicle crashes into park sign in Homer Glen, and more," 8 Dec. 2020 As a 35-year-old supervisor and paramedic, Soto worked in 24-hour shifts, rushing to 911 calls to oversee serious medical emergencies or assist less experienced firefighters. Los Angeles Times, "American pandemic: A preacher, a nurse and a firefighter take on the coronavirus," 30 Nov. 2020 The pedestrian was pronounced dead on the scene by a paramedic at 9:32 p.m., said police, who noted the driver of the Honda remained on the scene and is cooperating with investigators. Amanda Blanco,, "Pedestrian dies after being hit by car in Waterbury, police say," 21 Nov. 2020

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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The first known use of paramedic was in 1967

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Statistics for paramedic

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paramedic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for paramedic


How to pronounce paramedic (audio)

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 How to pronounce paramedic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce paramedic (audio) \
variants: also paramedical \ -​i-​kəl How to pronounce paramedic (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for paramedic

Britannica English: Translation of paramedic for Arabic Speakers

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