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

Plum Health last month hired a second physician, Dr. Raquel Orlich, and has started to expand from 500 patients up to as many as 1,000. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "These Detroit doctors help people with no insurance, high deductibles," 6 Aug. 2019 There are more than a million physicians in the United States, and around nine hundred thousand are actively practicing. Eric Topol, The New Yorker, "Why Doctors Should Organize," 5 Aug. 2019 That includes people who were diagnosed with the allergy by a physician, as well as those who weren't diagnosed, but met the researchers' criteria. NBC News, "More than 1.5 million Americans could have a sesame allergy," 2 Aug. 2019 In 1969, journalist Barbara Seaman published The Doctor's Case Against the Pill, a book that combined testimonies from physicians, medical researchers, and women to question the safety of birth control pills. Brittany Risher, Woman's Day, "Is Your Daughter's Birth Control Pill the Same One You Took As a Teen?," 2 Aug. 2019 The walk-in clinic’s experienced staff of physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners can treat the entire family with quality care and personal service., "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 29 July 2019 The Georgetown staff consists of a physician, two nurses, two psychologists, two home visitors, a public health analyst and a health educator. Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, "Are you listening, Mayor Bowser? The District’s disability community is hoping you are.," 27 July 2019 Reshma Kewalramani, a physician and, until now, the chief medical officer at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, will become its next CEO. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "A $43 Billion Biotech Now Has a Female CEO: Brainstorm Health," 25 July 2019 Born Mary Joan Pickett in Chicago, McKenna, whose father was a physician, grew up in the South Shore neighborhood and graduated from Aquinas High School. Bob Goldsborough,, "Joan McKenna, mother of 7 who was active with Northwestern, Field Museum and Lyric Opera, dies," 23 July 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

9 Aug 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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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).


of or relating to the heavens

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