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Alternative forms[edit]


Middle English fysike, from Old French fisike (natural science, art of healing), from Latin physica (study of nature), from Ancient Greek φυσικός (phusikós, natural)


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physic (comparative more physic, superlative most physic)

  1. Relating to or concerning existent materials; physical.


physic (countable and uncountable, plural physics)

  1. (archaic, countable) A medicine or drug, especially a cathartic or purgative.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet 34:
      Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief.
    • 1609, King James Version, Sirach 18:19:
      Learn before thou speak, and use physick or ever thou be sick.
  2. (archaic, uncountable) The art or profession of healing disease; medicine.
  3. (obsolete) A physician.

Derived terms[edit]


physic (third-person singular simple present physics, present participle physicking, simple past and past participle physicked)

  1. (transitive) To cure or heal; to treat or administer medicine, especially to purge.