doctor

1 of 2

noun

doc·​tor ˈdäk-tər How to pronounce doctor (audio)
1
a
Christianity : an eminent theologian declared a sound expounder of doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church

called also doctor of the church

b
: a learned or authoritative teacher
c
: a person who has earned one of the highest academic degrees (such as a PhD) conferred by a university
Most of the college's faculty members are doctors in their fields.
The class is being taught by Doctor Menzer.
d
: a person awarded an honorary doctorate (such as an LLD or Litt D) by a college or university
2
a
: a person skilled or specializing in healing arts
especially : one (such as a physician, dentist, or veterinarian) who holds an advanced degree and is licensed to practice
See your doctor if the condition worsens.
an eye doctor
doctors' bills
3
a
: material added (as to food) to produce a desired effect
b
: a blade (as of metal) for spreading a coating or scraping a surface
4
: a person who restores, repairs, or fine-tunes things
doctoral adjective
doctorless adjective
doctorship noun

doctor

2 of 2

verb

doctored; doctoring ˈdäk-t(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce doctor (audio)

transitive verb

1
a
: to give medical treatment to
doctored her ailing husband
b
: to restore to good condition : repair
doctor an old clock
2
a
: to adapt or modify for a desired end by alteration or special treatment
doctored the play to suit the audience
The drink was doctored.
b
: to alter deceptively
accused of doctoring the election returns
The pitcher tried to cheat by doctoring the baseball.

intransitive verb

1
: to practice medicine
a career doctoring in the country
2
dialect : to take medicine

Example Sentences

Noun He needed medicine but refused to go to a doctor. She was under doctor's orders not to return to work. I saw her at the doctor's last week. How long will you be at the doctor? Most of the faculty members at this college are doctors in their fields. Dr. Smith, can you explain the exam requirements again? Verb They were accused of doctoring the company's financial records. a doctored photo of the actress I think somebody doctored the punch. He had time to doctor his wounds. She doctored the sick child until the physician arrived. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Players had had to provide sign-off from their doctor in order to be cast on the show. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 3 Feb. 2023 Introduced since 2015, the bill would establish a process through which a terminally ill patient may request a prescription from their doctor to be self administered to hasten their death. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 3 Feb. 2023 EHRs would reduce the need for faxing records from one doctor’s office to another and end the practice of manually inputting the same information into multiple databases. Jay J. Schnitzer, STAT, 1 Feb. 2023 The primary difference between arthritis supplements and drugs is that medication prescriptions from a doctor undergo FDA approval whereas supplements do not. Dallas News, 24 Jan. 2023 Some are available over the counter while others require a prescription from your doctor. Carrie Madormo, Rn, Health, 23 Jan. 2023 Because Daniel is medically stable, he was discharged from his primary care doctor’s clinic a few years back. Eli Cahan, The New Republic, 17 Jan. 2023 Anyone with thoughts of hurting themselves should seek care from their doctor, a mental health professional, or the suicide and crisis lifeline at 988 in the U.S. and 833-456-4566 in most Canadian provinces. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 9 Jan. 2023 Another example: One afternoon, health reporter Mark Johnson got a call from a doctor at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. George Stanley, Journal Sentinel, 6 Jan. 2023
Verb
The siblings made sure their dad, and later their mom, didn’t go alone to doctor visits. Dallas News, 18 May 2022 Because of Covid protocol, I wasn’t allowed to accompany my spouse to doctor appointments without special permission. Anemona Hartocollis, New York Times, 17 Nov. 2022 Since her move, Newbaker has spent the bulk of her days caring for her mother, making meals, moving her from her bed, assisting with hygiene, and taking her to doctor appointments. Rebecca Gale, Fortune, 10 Nov. 2022 Now the will to spread false narratives skillfully online has spread to governments, and the technology to doctor photos and videos enables purveyors to make disinformation more believable. David Bauder, Chron, 16 Oct. 2022 During the pandemic, people were not going to doctor’s offices. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 16 Nov. 2022 Manfred was also asked about the increase in spin rate by pitchers, raising the question of whether pitchers are finding different ways to illegally doctor the baseballs. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 1 Nov. 2022 Now the will to spread false narratives skillfully online has spread to governments, and the technology to doctor photos and videos enables purveyors to make disinformation more believable. David Bauder, Chron, 16 Oct. 2022 Stubblefield noted that two weeks ago - the most recently available data - most visits to doctor’s offices for influenza-like illnesses were among 5-24 year olds. al, 24 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English doctour teacher, doctor, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin doctor, from Latin, teacher, from docēre to teach — more at docile

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1712, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of doctor was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near doctor

Cite this Entry

“Doctor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doctor. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

doctor

1 of 2 noun
doc·​tor ˈdäk-tər How to pronounce doctor (audio)
1
: a person holding one of the highest degrees (as a PhD) given by a university
2
: a person (as a physician, dentist, or veterinarian) skilled and specializing in the art of healing
doctoral adjective

doctor

2 of 2 verb
doctored; doctoring -t(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce doctor (audio)
1
a
: to give medical treatment to
b
: to practice medicine
c
: to bring back to good condition : repair
doctor an old clock
2
: to tamper with
doctored the election returns

Medical Definition

doctor

1 of 2 noun
doc·​tor ˈdäk-tər How to pronounce doctor (audio)
1
: a person skilled or specializing in healing arts
especially : one (as a physician, dentist, or veterinarian) who holds an advanced degree and is licensed to practice
2
a
: a person who has earned one of the highest academic degrees (as a PhD) conferred by a university
b
: a person awarded an honorary doctorate by a college or university

doctor

2 of 2 verb
doctored; doctoring -t(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce doctor (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to give medical treatment to
2
: castrate sense 1, spay
have your pet cat doctored

intransitive verb

: to practice medicine

More from Merriam-Webster on doctor

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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