phy·​si·​cian | \ fə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce physician (audio) \

Definition of physician

1 : a person skilled in the art of healing specifically : one educated, clinically experienced, and licensed to practice medicine as usually distinguished from surgery
2 : one exerting a remedial or salutary influence

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Synonyms & Antonyms for physician


croaker [slang], doc, doctor, medic, medico, sawbones [slang]


nondoctor, nonphysician

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Examples of physician in a Sentence

you should always consult a physician if you develop a high fever

Recent Examples on the Web

Advertising A University of Iowa physician, Gary Hunninghake, reported that he was attacked and stabbed while jogging in Chicago in 2010. Michael Tarm, The Seattle Times, "Upsides, downsides for Smollett, city in looming fines fight," 31 Mar. 2019 What began as a one-woman effort has evolved into an organization of five powerful women, including two physicians, one rehabilitation psychologist, and one attorney. Sarah Gad, Marie Claire, "My Drug Overdose Saved My Life. Now I'm Saving Others.," 15 Mar. 2019 Both of her parents were physicians in the Indian Army, and Chopra and her brother, Siddharth, traveled the globe during their childhood years. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "5 Things You Didn’t Know About Priyanka Chopra," 1 Dec. 2018 Galen, the renowned second century Greek physician, prescribed an avian cure for colic pains: crested lark (plucked and roasted, of course). David Holahan, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Wonderful Mr. Willughby' profiles a pioneer of ornithology and early scientist," 12 July 2018 Lanthimos updates the story — a young man (Barry Keoghan) blames his father’s death on a malpracticing physician (Colin Farrell), and demands the surgeon kill one of his children as a sacrifice. Gary Thompson,, "Think these movies are too gory? The Greek myths they're based on are worse," 12 July 2018 But if products are being pushed onto parents by physicians, parents deserve unbiased information about those products. Heidi Stevens,, "Why did the U.S. try to block a breastfeeding resolution, and what do we do about it?," 11 July 2018 This classmate, like Lela’s physicians, had seen obvious symptoms of a disease but missed the diagnosis because the patient’s race didn’t fit what they had been taught to envisage. Jennifer W. Tsai, STAT, "You can’t tell a book by its cover — or a disease by Drake’s race," 11 July 2018 Globally, over 3300 government personnel, physicians, veterinarians, resource managers, laboratory technicians and students have been trained by PREDICT. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "A Never-Before-Seen Virus Has Been Detected in Myanmar’s Bats," 11 July 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for physician

Middle English phisicien, fisicien, from Anglo-French, from phisique medicine

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Statistics for physician

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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Time Traveler for physician

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

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More Definitions for physician



English Language Learners Definition of physician

chiefly US, somewhat formal : a medical doctor especially : a medical doctor who is not a surgeon


phy·​si·​cian | \ fə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce physician (audio) \

Kids Definition of physician

: a specialist in healing human disease : a doctor of medicine


phy·​si·​cian | \ fə-ˈzish-ən How to pronounce physician (audio) \

Medical Definition of physician

: a skilled health-care professional trained and licensed to practice medicine specifically : a doctor of medicine or osteopathy

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Comments on physician

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

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