ther·​a·​peu·​tic | \ˌther-ə-ˈpyü-tik \

Definition of therapeutic 

1 : of or relating to the treatment of disease or disorders by remedial agents or methods : curative, medicinal therapeutic diets They confirmed the therapeutic effect of supplemental light in treating winter depression with phototherapy.— Richard Wurtman and Judith Wurtman A just-right amount is the therapeutic dose, just enough to provide the intended effect without problems.— Paul G. Donohue

2 : having a beneficial effect on the body or mind Warm lotion manicures … are a luxurious, therapeutic treat …Elle … they painted, hoed, swept, and planted when the mood for therapeutic work struck them, and lolled on the beach when they felt like it.— David Guterson

3 : producing a useful or favorable result or effect In classical economics, before the illusion of fine-tuning became widespread, recessions were regarded as therapeutic.— Geoffrey Smith and Jane Sasseen

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Other Words from therapeutic

therapeutic noun
therapeutically \ ˌther-​ə-​ˈpyü-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of therapeutic in a Sentence

the therapeutic benefits of yoga Gardening can be very therapeutic. the therapeutic effects of radiation
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Recent Examples on the Web

Oliver, an artist who turned his art toward activism after his son’s murder, guided students during a therapeutic graffiti session Wednesday at Pine Trails Park in Parkland. Erika Pesantes,, "Manuel Oliver, father of slain Stoneman Douglas student, uses art to help his son's peers heal," 21 June 2018 Campers take part in therapeutic sessions, arts, music and drama therapy, meditation and yoga. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville News Digest," 25 May 2018 Big reminders came in the summers of 2011 and 2012, when both worked at a therapeutic summer program in New Hampshire for kids with disabilities., "Philadelphia weddings: Olivia Peters and Tim Scott," 18 Apr. 2018 The organization has provided its free or low-cost therapeutic sessions to more than 60 people, helping them overcome their injuries and do something doctors never believed possible: walk again. Meghan Dunn, CNN, "Bionic woman skis, bikes and helps others thrive after paralysis," 12 Apr. 2018 What crafted the inspiration behind the album though in terms of creating Apologies in Advance and a therapeutic session was a few things. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Sylvan LaCue Talks 'Beautiful' Impact of New Album 'Apologies in Advance' & How JAY-Z Changed His Life," 24 Jan. 2018 Proving that ReWalk is therapeutic will be expensive and time consuming, but Goffer remains optimistic. Avi Jorisch, Newsweek, "How a Paralyzed Man Reinvented the Wheelchair to Help People Walk Again," 6 Mar. 2018 Meanwhile, many cyclists have turned to abusing legal drugs for marginal gains, getting away with it through therapeutic-use exemptions, or TUEs. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, "Stop Boycotting Pro Cycling," 6 July 2018 Several of the women involved call their involvement therapeutic. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "Watch: Prisoners care for dogs dropped from the Iditarod," 10 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'therapeutic.' 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 therapeutic

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for therapeutic

Greek therapeutikos, from therapeuein to attend, treat, from theraps attendant

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Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for therapeutic

The first known use of therapeutic was in 1646

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English Language Learners Definition of therapeutic

: producing good effects on your body or mind

: of or relating to the treatment of illness


ther·​a·​peu·​tic | \ˌther-ə-ˈpyü-tik \

Kids Definition of therapeutic


ther·​a·​peu·​tic | \-ˈpyüt-ik \

Medical Definition of therapeutic 

1 : of, relating to, or used in the treatment of disease or disorders by remedial agents or methods : curative, medicinal … the dose was increased to 8 mg per day, which is the higher end of the therapeutic dosage range.— Hasan B. Alam et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 8 Oct. 2009 Conscious sedation is used increasingly in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, ranging from gastrointestinal endoscopy to minor surgery in patients who are relaxed, but responsive.The Journal of the American Medical Association, 22 Sept. 1993 They confirmed the therapeutic effect of supplemental light in treating winter depression with phototherapy.— Richard Wurtman and Judith Wurtman, Scientific American, January 1989

2 : having a beneficial effect on the body or mind California psychotherapist Annette Goodheart believes not only that laughter can be therapeutic but also that therapy needs to include laughter.— Jeff Wagenheim, New Age Journal, Winter 1993

Other Words from therapeutic

therapeutically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
a therapeutically effective regimen therapeutically equivalent drugs

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Comments on therapeutic

What made you want to look up therapeutic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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