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[noun ak-yoo-puhngk-cher; verb ak-yoo-puhngk-cher, ak-yoo-puhngk-] /noun ˈæk yʊˌpʌŋk tʃər; verb ˈæk yʊˌpʌŋk tʃər, ˌæk yʊˈpʌŋk-/
a Chinese medical practice or procedure that treats illness or provides local anesthesia by the insertion of needles at specified sites of the body.
verb (used with object), acupunctured, acupuncturing.
to perform acupuncture on.
Origin of acupuncture
1675-85; < Latin acū with a needle (ablative of acus needle) or acu- (as combining form of acus) + puncture Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for acupuncture


the insertion of the tips of needles into the skin at specific points for the purpose of treating various disorders by stimulating nerve impulses. Originally Chinese, this method of treatment is practised in many parts of the world Also called stylostixis
Derived Forms
acupunctural, adjective
acupuncturist, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin acus needle + puncture
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for acupuncture

1680s, "pricking with a needle" to ease pain, from Latin acus "needle" (see acuity) + puncture. The verb is first recorded 1972.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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acupuncture in Medicine

acupuncture ac·u·punc·ture (āk'yə-pŭngk'chər)
A procedure in which specific body areas associated with peripheral nerves are pierced with fine needles to produce anesthesia, relieve pain, and promote therapy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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acupuncture in Science
The practice of inserting thin needles into the body at specific points to relieve pain, treat a disease, or anesthetize a body part during surgery. Acupuncture has its origin in traditional Chinese medicine and has been in use for more than 5,000 years.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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acupuncture in Culture
acupuncture [(ak-yuh-pungk-chuhr)]

A technique, which originated in China, for curing disease, relieving pain, or bringing about partial anesthesia by inserting needles into the body at specific points.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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