Share this entry

Share this page

medicine

Syllabification: med·i·cine
Pronunciation: /ˈmedəsən
 
/

Definition of medicine in English:

noun

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.
Synonyms
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.

Origin

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

Phrases

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

1
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

2
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.

Definition of medicine in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pərt
adjective
lively; cheerful