prescription

noun

pre·​scrip·​tion pri-ˈskrip-shən How to pronounce prescription (audio)
1
a
: the establishment of a claim of title to something under common law usually by use and enjoyment for a period fixed by statute
b
: the right or title acquired under common law by such possession
2
: the process of making claim to something by long use and enjoyment
3
: the action of laying down authoritative rules or directions
4
a
: a written direction for a therapeutic or corrective agent
specifically : one for the preparation and use of a medicine
b
: a prescribed medicine
c
: something (such as a recommendation) resembling a doctor's prescription
prescriptions for economic recovery
5
a
: ancient or long continued custom
b
: a claim founded upon ancient custom or long continued use
6
: something prescribed as a rule

Example Sentences

The drug is only sold with a prescription. I have to pick up my prescription.
Recent Examples on the Web NeighborFavor contended that customers could confuse the two because both parties offer the delivery of pharmacy and prescription medicine products, according to a complaint filed last June. Katie Deighton, WSJ, 20 Jan. 2023 Reducing the burden of health care costs could help improve population health overall, as people facing medical debt are more likely to forego care and prescription drugs. Deidre Mcphillips, CNN, 19 Jan. 2023 After losing her job, a single mom falls into a lucrative but ultimately dangerous scheme selling prescription drugs. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 18 Jan. 2023 Could semaglutide become Hollywood's most embraced prescription injection since Botox's approval for cosmetic use in 2002? Kelsi Zimmerman, Allure, 18 Jan. 2023 When a psychiatrist treating the 14-year-old Howard County youth did not receive records of his current medication, the physician relied upon available pill bottles to piece together his prescription history, according to the suit. Darcy Costello, Baltimore Sun, 17 Jan. 2023 Loyal seeks to create an affordable prescription pill for canine companions, but that’s still a few years away. Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Jan. 2023 Judaism’s prescription for slaughtering animals is minutely detailed, as was noted in a lawsuit brought by then-Illinois Attorney General Neil Hartigan against Shelat Kosher Foods, in 1987. Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune, 15 Jan. 2023 For heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and the like, insurance covers care coordination, prescription and medication management, education, communication, and more. Nick Hayes, STAT, 13 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

partly from Middle English prescripcion establishment of a claim, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin praescription-, praescriptio, from Latin, act of writing at the beginning, order, limitation of subject matter, from praescribere; partly from Latin praescription-, praescriptio order

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of prescription was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near prescription

Cite this Entry

“Prescription.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prescription. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

prescription

noun
pre·​scrip·​tion pri-ˈskrip-shən How to pronounce prescription (audio)
1
: the action of prescribing rules or directions
2
a
: a written direction or order for the preparation and use of a medicine
b
: a medicine that is prescribed
prescriptive
-ˈskrip-tiv
adjective

Medical Definition

prescription

noun
pre·​scrip·​tion pri-ˈskrip-shən How to pronounce prescription (audio)
1
: a written direction for the preparation, compounding, and administration of a medicine
2
: a prescribed remedy
3
: a written formula for the grinding of corrective lenses for eyeglasses
4
: a written direction for the application of physical therapy measures (as directed exercise or electrotherapy) in cases of injury or disability

Legal Definition

prescription

noun
pre·​scrip·​tion pri-ˈskrip-shən How to pronounce prescription (audio)
1
: acquisition of an interest (as an easement) in real property that is usually less than a fee by long-term, continuous, open, and hostile use and possession as determined by the law of a jurisdiction
gained title by prescription
see also easement by prescription at easement compare adverse possession at possession
2
in the civil law of Louisiana
a
: the running of a period of time set by law after which a right is unenforceable in Louisiana courts but may be enforced in another state forum
an interruption of prescription
by the prescription of ten years
also : the bar to an action that results from prescription see also peremptory exception compare peremption
b
: the creation of a right by the running of a period of time set by law
especially : acquisitive prescription in this entry
predial servitudes on property of the state may not be acquired by prescription Louisiana Civil Code
acquisitive prescription \ ə-​ˈkwi-​zə-​tiv-​ \
: acquisition of ownership or other real rights in movables or immovables by continuous, uninterrupted, peaceable, public, and unequivocal possession for a period of time (as 10 years) set by law
also : such possession that creates real rights
acquisitive prescription is interrupted when the possessor acknowledges the right of the owner Louisiana Civil Code

Note: The Louisiana Civil Code has set various periods of time for acquisitive prescription of movables and immovables. With the shorter periods (as 10 years for immovables or 3 years for movables) the Code also requires that the possessor possess in good faith and under just title. Acquisitive prescription does not run in favor of a person having precarious possession, because he or she possess the property on behalf of or with permission of the owner, until the possessor begins to possess the property on his or her own behalf (as after a lease terminates).

liberative prescription
: a period of time set by law (as one year) after which legal action is barred if no steps have been taken to enforce or litigate the right delictual actions are subject to a liberative prescription of one yearLouisiana Civil Code

Note: Liberative prescription is similar to the common-law statute of limitations.

prescription of nonuse
: the extinguishment or termination of a real right other than ownership as a result of the failure to exercise the right for a period of time (as 10 years) set by law
also : the period of time
3
: something prescribed as a rule
created a legal prescription against such acts

History and Etymology for prescription

partly from Middle French prescription establishment of a claim, from Late Latin praescription- praescriptio, from Latin, act of writing at the beginning, order, from praescribere to write at the beginning, dictate, order; partly from Latin praescription- praescriptio order

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