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

The American Medical Association reports that more than a third of physicians have had a medical liability lawsuit filed against them during their careers. Meredith Cohn,, "Baltimore jury's record $229 million malpractice verdict may change a life — but likely not the system," 4 July 2019 If health care is a human right, the public is entitled to the services of the physician, and the state has a prevailing interest in compelling cost-efficiency in these services. William A. Estes, National Review, "The American Medical Association Flirts with Socialized Medicine," 28 June 2019 Overmyer pleaded guilty in 2016 to felony counts of theft in office, theft of drug take-back boxes and deception of physicians to obtain prescription pain medication. Jona Ison,, "Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader indicted 16 charges," 28 June 2019 Martinez said the location of a medical school, deemed key to raising the Valley’s low number of physicians, also caused some heartburn. Lynn Brezosky,, "Rio Grande Valley merger expected to help land more road dollars," 28 June 2019 Mark Hurst, medical director at Ohio’s health department, said state-level interventions like increasing the number of physicians who prescribe drug-treatment medications are bearing fruit. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Overdose Deaths Likely to Fall for First Time Since 1990," 26 June 2019 But Pan, a pediatrician, noted that misguided anti-vaccination parents were taking advantage of a handful of unscrupulous physicians to skirt the law. Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards, The Mercury News, "Editorial: California legislature should pass compromise vaccine bill," 25 June 2019 Coloyan, then 23, started having seizures that month, but the cause remained a frightening conundrum that blood tests, MRIs, CT scans, and a team of physicians had failed to unlock. Lacey Johnson, Marie Claire, "Breast Implant Illness Is a Risk We Don't Talk About," 25 June 2019 Memorial Healthcare System is addressing the need of future patients by training the next generation of physicians. Cindy Krischer Goodman,, "Broward gets new doctors-in-training," 20 June 2019

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

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for physician

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

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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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