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From Middle English cirurgien, borrowed from Old French cirurgiien, itself borrowed from Vulgar Latin *chīrurgiānus or formed from the root of cirurgie, borrowed from Latin chirurgia, ultimately from Ancient Greek χειρουργός (kheirourgós). More at surgeon, surgery.



chirurgeon (plural chirurgeons)

  1. (archaic) A doctor or surgeon.
    • 1664, Samuel Pepys, Diary of Samuel Pepys, January 8
      At noon to the 'Change, and there long, and from thence by appointment took Luellin, Mount, and W. Symons, and Mr. Pierce, the chirurgeon, home to dinner with me and were merry.
    • 1688, Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, The Royal Slave
      All we could do could get no more words from him; and we took care to have him put immediately into a healing bath, to rid him of his pepper, and ordered a chirurgeon to anoint him with healing balm, which he suffered, and in some time he began to be able to walk and eat.
    • 1728, Otway, Thomas, “The Atheist, or, the Second Part of the Solider's Fortune”, in The Works of Mr. Thomas Otway[1], volume 2, London, page 44:
      If I chance to be hang'd, being a luſty Sinewy Fellow, the Corporation of Barber-Chirurgeons, may be, beg me for an Anatomy, to ſet up in their Hall.
    • 1850, William Harrison Ainsworth, George Cruikshank, & Hablot Knight Browne, Ainsworth's Magazine, p. 481.
      On the following day, Tresham was seized with a sudden illness, and making known his symptoms to Ipgreve, the chirurgeon who attended the prison was sent for, and on seeing him pronounced him dangerously ill, though he was at a loss to explain the nature of his disorder.
    • 1889, Arthur Conan Doyle, chapter XXXI, in Micah Clarke:
      Noting that there was something amiss, he had hurried down for a skilled chirurgeon, whom he brought out to us under an escort of scythesmen.
    • 1893, Julia Taft Bayne, Molly Webster
      Ye healthful Potions ye Chirurgeon sends from ye gallipots Power out,
      Ye bedd vpheaues, ye homs is shaken, & ye stooles are hvrl'd aboute.
    • 1903, Howard Pyle, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, Part II, Chapter First, page 56
      And when he had come there the King's chirurgeon presently attended upon him - albeit his wounds were of such a sort he might not hope to live for a very long while.

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