vulnerary

adjective
vul·​ner·​ary | \ ˈvəl-nə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce vulnerary (audio) \

Definition of vulnerary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: used for or useful in healing wounds vulnerary plants

vulnerary

noun
plural vulneraries

Definition of vulnerary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a vulnerary remedy

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Adjective

In Latin, vulnus means "wound." You might think, then, that the English adjective vulnerary would mean "wounding" or "causing a wound"—and, indeed, vulnerary has been used that way, along with two obsolete adjectives, vulnerative and vulnific. But for the lasting and current use of vulnerary, we took our cue from the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder. In his Natural History, he used the Latin adjective vulnerarius to describe a plaster, or dressing, for healing wounds. And that's fine—the suffix -ary merely indicates that there is a connection, which, in this case, is to wounds. (As you may have already suspected, vulnerable is related; it comes from the Latin verb vulnerare, which means "to wound.")

First Known Use of vulnerary

Adjective

1599, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vulnerary

Adjective

Latin vulnerarius, from vulner-, vulnus

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Time Traveler for vulnerary

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The first known use of vulnerary was in 1599

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Dictionary Entries Near vulnerary

vulnerable

vulnerary

vulpecidal

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Cite this Entry

“Vulnerary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vulnerary. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for vulnerary

vulnerary

adjective
vul·​ner·​ary | \ ˈvəl-nə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce vulnerary (audio) \

Medical Definition of vulnerary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: used for or useful in healing wounds vulnerary plants

vulnerary

noun
plural vulneraries

Medical Definition of vulnerary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a vulnerary remedy

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