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

Example Sentences

He is undergoing cancer therapy. talking over my problem with you has been good therapy
Recent Examples on the Web Zach Braff is getting candid about the impact of therapy on his life. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 31 Jan. 2023 In its first clinical trial, six patients with non-Hodgkins lymphoma had no detectable cancer after a single dose of the therapy, Haurwitz said. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 30 Jan. 2023 Lucid Dream follows Dae-ho, who learns of a new form of therapy three years after his son is kidnapped. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, 30 Jan. 2023 Many children, even those who are not born prematurely can grow leaps and bounds from extra love and support by way of therapy. Amy Shoenthal, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 The dearth of drugs available for patients with compromised immune systems has renewed interest in convalescent plasma, an old-school version of antibody therapy first explored in the opening days of the pandemic. Melissa Healystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 27 Jan. 2023 Kathy Fennimore, 62, has overcome her post-COVID-19 conditions, also known as long COVID-19, after months of therapy. Caroline Catherman, Orlando Sentinel, 24 Jan. 2023 In adulthood, Harry has spoken frequently about the importance of therapy in his life and has become much more open about sharing his emotions. Time, 11 Jan. 2023 Getty Images Grab a bottle of body oil, set the mood with candles and relaxing background music, and give your partner at least 30 minutes of massage therapy. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, 9 Jan. 2023 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.

Word History


New Latin therapia, from Greek therapeia, from therapeuein

First Known Use

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of therapy was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near therapy

Cite this Entry

“Therapy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


ther·​a·​py ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce therapy (audio)
plural therapies
: treatment of an abnormal state of the mind or body

Medical Definition


ther·​a·​py ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce therapy (audio)
plural therapies
: therapeutic treatment: as
: remedial treatment of mental or bodily disorder
: 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

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