ther·​a·​peu·​tic | \ ˌther-ə-ˈpyü-tik How to pronounce therapeutic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce therapeutic (audio) \ 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 Oregon’s first-in-the-nation program to allow regulated, therapeutic use of psilocybin got underway Tuesday when Gov. Kate Brown announced the members of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board. oregonlive, "Governor appoints board to oversee Oregon’s new psychedelic mushroom program," 16 Mar. 2021 His bill follows on the heels of recent rulings in Oakland, Denver, Santa Cruz, and Washington, D.C., as well as Oregon’s recent statewide initiative to fully legalize psilocybin for therapeutic use. John Semley, The New Republic, "The Outlaw Chemists Who Deserve a Cut of the Psychedelic Gold Rush," 8 Mar. 2021 There has been a flurry of research into the potential therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs to treat depression, drug addiction, PTSD, and a range of other mental health afflictions in recent years. Paul Best, Fox News, "California bill would decriminalize psychedelic drugs like acid and magic mushrooms," 19 Feb. 2021 Despite a growing body of research and a shift in public perception, psychedelics for personal consumption and therapeutic use remain a touchy subject for some lawmakers and voters who might be hesitant to rewrite long-standing drug laws. NBC News, "New California bill would decriminalize psychedelics, expunge criminal records," 18 Feb. 2021 Doblin predicts a system of this nature could be a reality by 2035, after a decade or so in which controlled therapeutic use accustoms the public to the value of these chemicals. Ben Harris,, "Jewish psychedelics advocate working to turn club drug into legal medicine," 19 Nov. 2020 Voters in Oregon also approved a measure to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin, the compound in psychedelic mushrooms that's responsible for their consciousness-altering effects. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Oregon Just Voted to Decriminalize All Drug Possession–Here’s What That Means," 4 Nov. 2020 Unlike marijuana, which is legal for recreational use in Oregon, measure 109 only legalizes magic mushrooms for therapeutic use. Molly Longman,, "Oregon Just Legalized Magic Mushrooms. That’s A Win For Mental Health," 4 Nov. 2020 Without a vaccine or a therapeutic breakthrough, prevention tools are the best approach for controlling the spread. Jennifer Calfas, WSJ, "Why Covid-19 Is Spreading Again: Fatigue, Colder Weather, Eased Restrictions," 15 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for therapeutic

Time Traveler

The first known use of therapeutic was in 1646

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Statistics for therapeutic

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Therapeutic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for therapeutic



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 How to pronounce therapeutic (audio) \

Kids Definition of therapeutic


ther·​a·​peu·​tic | \ -ˈpyüt-ik How to pronounce therapeutic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce therapeutic (audio) \ adverb
a therapeutically effective regimen therapeutically equivalent drugs

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