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From Middle French, from Old French prescripcion, from Latin praescriptio.


  • IPA(key): /pɹəˈskɹɪpʃən/, /pɝˈskɹɪpʃən/


prescription (countable and uncountable, plural prescriptions)

  1. (law)
    1. The act of prescribing a rule, law, etc..
      • "Jurisdiction to prescribe" is a state's authority to make its laws applicable to certain persons or activities. -- Richard G. Alexander, Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996: Congress exceeds its jurisdiction to prescribe law. Washington and Lee Law Review, 1997.
    2. Also called limitation and negative prescription. A time period within which a right must be exercised, unless the right will be extinguished.
    3. Also called acquisitive prescription and positive prescription. A time period after which a person who has, in the role of an owner, uninterruptedly, peacefully, and publicly possessed another's property acquires the property. The described process is known as acquisition by prescription and adverse possession.
  2. (medicine, pharmacy) A written order, as by a physician or nurse practitioner, for the administration of a medicine or other intervention. See also scrip.
    • The surgeon wrote a prescription for a pain killer and physical therapy.
  3. (medicine) The prescription medicine or intervention so prescribed.
    • The pharmacist gave her a bottle containing her prescription.
  4. (ophthalmology) The formal description of the lens geometry needed for spectacles, etc..
    • The optician followed the optometrist's prescription for her new eyeglasses.
  5. (linguistics) The act or practice of prescribing norms of language usage. See also prescriptivism.
  6. (linguistics) An instance of a prescriptive pronouncement.
  7. A plan or procedure to obtain a given end result; a recipe.
    • "Early to bed and early to rise" is a prescription for a healthy lifestyle.



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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


prescription (not comparable)

  1. (of a drug, etc.) only available with a physician or nurse practitioner's written prescription
    Many powerful pain killers are prescription drugs in the U.S.


See also[edit]



prescription f (plural prescriptions)

  1. prescription (all senses)



EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions. You can also discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.


prescription f (plural prescriptions)

  1. (Jersey) prescription