ther·​a·​py | \ ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce therapy (audio) \
plural therapies

Definition of therapy

1 : therapeutic medical treatment of impairment, injury, disease, or disorder The number of new patients treated for end-stage renal disease … with dialysis or renal transplantation has continued to rise exponentially with an 8.4% annualized growth rate reaching more than 160,000 patients undergoing therapy in the United States in 1989.— Friedrich K. Port — see also art therapy, chelation therapy, chemotherapy, chemotherapy, gene therapy, hormone therapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, shock therapy, speech therapy
2 : psychotherapy Furthermore, the psychotherapist knows that all actions in therapy are messages that need be decoded and understood regardless of the 'language' the patient uses.— Bruno Bettelheim and Alvin A. Rosenfeld

Examples of therapy in a Sentence

He is undergoing cancer therapy. talking over my problem with you has been good therapy
Recent Examples on the Web Instead, it should be viewed as a supplementary tool to be used alongside other mental health practices like seeking therapy and community support. Emily Rekstis, Allure, 31 July 2022 For any journalists looking for additional resources, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma has many that range from best practices for interviewing victims and survivors to guides for journalists seeking therapy. Christine Fernando, USA TODAY, 14 July 2022 The technique sounded like an advertisement for an erotic-massage therapy but turned out to be a simple act of teamwork. Daniel Ford, The New Yorker, 11 July 2022 At one Los Angeles County mental health clinic, where staff members asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, a clinician said the wait time for therapy is now six months. Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2022 Jason kept going to therapy every week as the scars faded from his face. New York Times, 5 July 2022 Irene Brady Barber oversees the horticultural therapy program at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. Nicole Cammorata,, 19 June 2022 Those weren’t facing severe supply constraints so people hadn’t expected there to be issues supplying ide-cel, Bristol’s myeloma CAR-T, said Yi Lin, the director of the cell therapy program at the Mayo Clinic. Angus Chen, STAT, 3 June 2022 Vulnerability All-Stars 44, grant coordinator; graduate of GRIP Training Institute, a group-therapy program in California’s state prison system. Mike Kessler, Men's Health, 25 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of therapy

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for therapy

New Latin therapia, from Greek therapeia, from therapeuein

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Time Traveler for therapy

Time Traveler

The first known use of therapy was in 1838

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the ratings

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Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Therapy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for therapy


ther·​a·​py | \ ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce therapy (audio) \
plural therapies

Kids Definition of therapy

: treatment of a disorder or injury of the body or mind


ther·​a·​py | \ ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce therapy (audio) \
plural therapies

Medical Definition of therapy

: therapeutic treatment: as
a : remedial treatment of mental or bodily disorder
b : an agency (as treatment) designed or serving to bring about rehabilitation or social adjustment — see occupational therapy, recreational therapy

More from Merriam-Webster on therapy

Nglish: Translation of therapy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of therapy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about therapy


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