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Alternative forms[edit]


Middle English medicin, from Old French, from Latin medicīna (the healing art, medicine, a physician's shop, a remedy, medicine), feminine of medicinus (of or belonging to physic or surgery, or to a physician or surgeon), from medicus (a physician, surgeon), from medeor (I heal).


  • (UK) enPR: ˈmed-sǐn, ˈmed-sn, IPA(key): /ˈmɛd.sɪn/, /ˈmɛ̩/
  • (file)
  • (US) enPR: ˈmed-ĭ-sĭn, IPA(key): /ˈmɛ.dɪ.sɪn/
  • (Weak-vowel merger) IPA(key): [ˈmɛ.də.sən]
  • (file)


medicine (plural medicines)

  1. A substance which specifically promotes healing when ingested or consumed in some way.
  2. A treatment or cure.
  3. The study of the cause, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease or illness.
  4. The profession of physicians, surgeons and related specialisms; those who practice medicine.
  5. Ritual Native American magic used (notably by a medicine man) to promote a desired outcome in healing, hunting, warfare etc.
  6. (obsolete) black magic, superstition.
  7. (obsolete) A philtre or love potion.
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, II. ii. 18:
      If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged. It could not be else. I have drunk medicines.
  8. (obsolete) A physician.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


medicine (third-person singular simple present medicines, present participle medicining, simple past and past participle medicined)

  1. (rare, obsolete) To treat with medicine.
    • 1857, Delia Bacon, The philosophy of the plays of Shakspere unfolded:
      And we shall find, under the head of the medicining of the body, some things on the subject of medicine in general, which could be better said there than here, because of the wrath of professional dignitaries,- the eye of the 'basilisk,' was not perhaps quite so terrible in that quarter then, as it was in some others.

See also[edit]


  • Prescription Desk Reference, Prescription Drug Information:
  • medicine” in Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  • "medicine" in the Merriam-Webster On-line dictionary
  • "medicine" in the Hutchinson Encyclopaedia, Helicon Publishing LTD 2007.
  • medicine in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • medicine at OneLook Dictionary Search



medicine f

  1. plural form of medicina


Middle French[edit]


From Old French medecine, with the i added back to reflect the original Latin medicīna.


medicine f (plural medicines)

  1. medicine (act of practising medical treatment)


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