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 Soon frustrated with the rat race, the 23-year-old daughter of a doctor and nurse began studying emergency medicine and became a paramedic around the time the pandemic began. Correspondent Maureen Maher, CBS News, "Did Kat West's online life play a role in her mysterious death?," 10 Apr. 2021 The episode will also feature an interview with Lauren Kwei, a New York City paramedic, who made headlines when a newspaper exposed her for posting nude images on Only Fans. Carol Robinson |, al, "Kat West murder: Slain Alabama wife, mom, online exhibitionist to be featured on CBS’s 48 HOURS," 9 Apr. 2021 One paramedic had to motion for Chauvin to lift his knee to lift Floyd onto a stretcher. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "A week of compelling and potentially devastating testimony at Derek Chauvin's murder trial," 3 Apr. 2021 Fred Chu, a 30-year-old paramedic who lives in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, brought a bouquet of white flowers to the vigil. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "Protests Across U.S. Call for End to Anti-Asian Violence," 20 Mar. 2021 Thomas Wobby, a paramedic at Pro EMS, an ambulance service in Cambridge, Massachusetts, works 48 hours a week in the ambulance in addition to running training sessions for new EMTs and paramedics. John Caplan, Forbes, "America’s Hourly Workers," 12 Mar. 2021 An officer is instructed by a paramedic to sit on it while emergency personnel finish securing him. Sarah Moon, CNN, "New body cam video shows man telling officers 'I can't breathe' before he died in 2017," 6 Mar. 2021 Most called for firing or prosecuting the three officers who stopped McClain along with the firefighter who approved the use of ketamine and the paramedic who administered it. Colleen Slevin,, "City probe faults overall police treatment of Elijah McClain," 22 Feb. 2021 Hila Baron, 29, flanked by a close friend on one side and a paramedic on the other, both patiently murmuring words of encouragement, finally acceded. Dina Kraft, Los Angeles Times, "Israel turns to carrots, and maybe some sticks, to persuade COVID-19 vaccine holdouts," 26 Feb. 2021

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

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paramedic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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