prescribe

verb
pre·​scribe | \ pri-ˈskrīb How to pronounce prescribe (audio) \
prescribed; prescribing

Definition of prescribe

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

1a : 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

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Other Words from prescribe

prescriber noun

Synonyms for prescribe

Synonyms

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Proscribe vs. Prescribe

Proscribe and prescribe each have a Latin-derived prefix that means "before" attached to the verb "scribe" (from scribere, meaning "to write"). Yet the two words have very distinct, often nearly opposite meanings. Why? In a way, you could say it's the law. In the 15th and 16th centuries both words had legal implications. To proscribe was to publish the name of a person who had been condemned, outlawed, or banished. To prescribe meant "to lay down a rule," including legal rules or orders.

Examples of prescribe in a Sentence

This drug should not be prescribed to children. a drug commonly prescribed to treat rashes The doctor prescribed three months of physical therapy for my leg injury. The law prescribes a prison sentence of at least five years for the crime. The regulations prescribe that all employees must pass a physical examination. We must follow the rules as prescribed by the government.
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Recent Examples on the Web Doctors can prescribe it to kids between the ages of 8 and 12 who have an ADHD diagnosis and have demonstrated an issue with attention. BostonGlobe.com, 27 May 2021 Aside from excluding patients with chronic pain, Denton noted that there is no real limit on the amount of THC a doctor can prescribe under this bill, which caps THC levels based on percentage rather than milligrams. Alex Briseno, Dallas News, 25 May 2021 Whether physicians can just prescribe the product or must try a different and usually cheaper product first. Harris Kaplan, Forbes, 10 Mar. 2021 There are medications and prescription creams a dermatologist can prescribe. Kim Luongo, chicagotribune.com, 8 Mar. 2021 If your treatment requires taking NSAIDs over a long period, your doctor may also prescribe a common acid-reducing medication known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, experts said. Washington Post, 26 May 2021 In fact, the Biden administration recently lifted barriers so advanced practice nurses can now prescribe buprenorphine, widening access to care for opioid addiction. Regina Cunningham, STAT, 19 May 2021 With psoriasis, doctors generally prescribe treatments that prevent your skin cells from growing too quickly, according to the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, 18 May 2021 Doctors can prescribe medical marijuana for several conditions including cancer, a terminal illness, epilepsy and chronic pain. Chandelis Duster, CNN, 17 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of prescribe

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for prescribe

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

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Time Traveler for prescribe

Time Traveler

The first known use of prescribe was in the 15th century

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Statistics for prescribe

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prescribe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prescribe. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for prescribe

prescribe

verb

English Language Learners Definition of prescribe

: to officially tell someone to use (a medicine, therapy, diet, etc.) as a remedy or treatment
: to make (something) an official rule

prescribe

verb
pre·​scribe | \ pri-ˈskrīb How to pronounce prescribe (audio) \
prescribed; prescribing

Kids Definition of prescribe

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.

prescribe

verb
pre·​scribe | \ pri-ˈskrīb How to pronounce prescribe (audio) \
prescribed; prescribing

Medical Definition of prescribe

intransitive verb

: to write or give medical prescriptions

transitive verb

: to designate or order the use of as a remedy prescribe a drug

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prescribe

verb
pre·​scribe | \ pri-ˈskrīb How to pronounce prescribe (audio) \
prescribed; prescribing

Legal Definition of prescribe

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 prescribesLouisiana 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 thereofU.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 tutorLouisiana Civil Code

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