Definition of medicine in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmedəsən/


1The science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (in technical use often taken to exclude surgery).
Example sentences
  • He said they planned to take on extra clinicians in respiratory medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology.
  • The practice of medicine must comply with modern ethical standards.
  • A few of them were practitioners of herbal medicine but most were ordinary, conventional citizens.
2A compound or preparation used for the treatment or prevention of disease, especially a drug or drugs taken by mouth: give her some medicine your doctor will be able to prescribe medicines
More example sentences
  • Treatments include preventative medicines and those for use in acute attacks.
  • If you remain well while on the medicines, the treatment should be continued.
  • In less urgent cases, treatment by medicines and vitamins may be a better option.
medication, medicament, drug, prescription, pharmaceutical, dose, treatment, remedy, cure;
nostrum, panacea, cure-all
informal meds
archaic physic
2.1Healing substances or drugs collectively: an aid convoy loaded with food and medicine
More example sentences
  • Clean water, rather than food or medicine, was cited as the most acute need in southern and central Iraq.
  • How will you get them food, medicine, and the consumer goods they have come to enjoy?
  • They desperately need medicine and food - and I think they need toys for the children.
3(Among North American Indians and some other peoples) a spell, charm, or fetish believed to have healing, protective, or other power: Fleur was murdering him by use of bad medicine
More example sentences
  • They could be bribed to give you some bad medicine if someone wanted to be rid of you.
  • Every culture had its Shamans, who in turn took on the magic mantle of medicine.



give someone a dose (or taste) of their own medicine

Give someone the same bad treatment that they have given to others: tired of his humiliation of me, I decided to give him a taste of his own medicine
More example sentences
  • I suggest we out this person and give them a taste of their own medicine.
  • Let's give them a taste of their own medicine then perhaps they may have a less arrogant attitude towards Britain.
  • Weathering the storm, Windermere then picked up the pace and gave Workington a taste of their own medicine.

take one's medicine

Submit to something disagreeable such as punishment.
Example sentences
  • You made a call, acknowledged it was probably wrong and took your medicine with grace.
  • So I took my medicine and I'm on probation now for three years.
  • He had an affair with a blonde teenager but took his medicine and kept his marriage together.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin medicina, from medicus 'physician'.

Words that rhyme with medicine


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: med·i·cine

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