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

After touring the steamy hot springs, relax in the nearby sulphur pools and get therapeutic. Jessi Walker, Marie Claire, "Weekend Travel Guide to Saint Lucia," 11 June 2018 Still, sharing a memoir in limited circles can be therapeutic, especially if there is a receptive audience. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "Why You Should Write a Memoir—Even if Nobody Will Read It," 10 Nov. 2017 For example, being able to work with nerves in the bladder or the pancreas or vagus nerve could have a lot of interesting therapeutic benefits — almost like acupuncture. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why it’s so hard to develop the right material for brain implants," 30 May 2018 The top three floors would be office space for physicians and therapeutic practitioners. Lisa J. Huriash,, "Hallandale Beach may get 8-story medical building," 12 July 2018 Sliding into someone's DMs can actually be therapeutic, as well as an excellent way to keep this conversation going. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "What the Skin-Acceptance Movement Means for People With Conditions Like Mine," 29 June 2018 If underlying triggers such as depression or trauma are influencing one or both individuals’ behaviors, Fuller says therapeutic or medical treatments may help. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "How To Tell If You're In a Toxic Relationship — And What To Do About It," 5 June 2018 This channeling of pain into pleasure also becomes a therapeutic way for practitioners to lose themselves in the moment and can actually help people cope with serious trauma. Gigi Engle, Marie Claire, "7 Things You Didn't Know About "Spanking Therapy"," 4 Aug. 2017 What are researchers telling you about the therapeutic potential of these drugs? Sean Illing, Vox, "Why psychedelic drugs could transform how we treat depression and mental illness," 21 May 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

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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