prescribe

verb pre·scribe \ pri-ˈskrīb \
Updated on: 6 Dec 2017

Definition of prescribe

prescribed; prescribing
intransitive verb
1 : to lay down a rule : dictate
2
[Middle English, from Medieval Latin praescribere, from Latin, to write at the beginning]
: to claim a title to something by right of prescription
3 : to write or give medical prescriptions
4 : to become by prescription invalid or unenforceable
transitive verb
1 a : to lay down as a guide, direction, or rule of action : ordain
b : to specify with authority
2 : to designate or order the use of as a remedy
  • prescribed a painkiller
  • a prescribed burn to restore natural forest conditions

prescriber

noun

Examples of prescribe in a Sentence

  1. This drug should not be prescribed to children.

  2. a drug commonly prescribed to treat rashes

  3. The doctor prescribed three months of physical therapy for my leg injury.

  4. The law prescribes a prison sentence of at least five years for the crime.

  5. The regulations prescribe that all employees must pass a physical examination.

  6. We must follow the rules as prescribed by the government.

Recent Examples of prescribe from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prescribe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of prescribe

Middle English, from Latin praescribere to write at the beginning, dictate, order, from prae- + scribere to write — more at scribe


PRESCRIBE Defined for English Language Learners

prescribe

verb

Definition of prescribe for English Language Learners

  • : to officially tell someone to use (a medicine, therapy, diet, etc.) as a remedy or treatment

  • : to make (something) an official rule


PRESCRIBE Defined for Kids

prescribe

verb pre·scribe \ pri-ˈskrīb \

Definition of prescribe for Students

prescribed; prescribing
1 : to order or direct the use of as a remedy
  • Did the doctor prescribe medicine?
2 : to lay down as a rule of action : order
  • School rules prescribe daily physical activity.

Medical Dictionary

prescribe

verb pre·scribe \ pri-ˈskrīb \

medical Definition of prescribe

prescribed; prescribing
intransitive verb
: to write or give medical prescriptions
transitive verb
: to designate or order the use of as a remedy
  • prescribe a drug

Law Dictionary

prescribe

verb pre·scribe \ pri-ˈskrīb \

legal Definition of prescribe

prescribed; prescribing
intransitive verb
1 : to claim title or a right to something (as an easement) by prescription
  • a precarious possessor cannot prescribe against the owner
2 in the civil law of Louisiana : to become unenforceable or invalid by prescription
  • any party having an interest in a money judgment may have it revived before it prescribes
  • Louisiana Civil Code
transitive verb
1 : to lay down as a rule or guide : specify with authority
  • the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof
  • U.S. Constitution art. I
2 in the civil law of Louisiana : to invalidate or bar the enforcement of by prescription
  • this claim for damages shall not be prescribed so long as the minor's right of action exists against his tutor
  • Louisiana Civil Code


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