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[fi-zish-uh n] /fɪˈzɪʃ ən/
a person who is legally qualified to practice medicine; doctor of medicine.
a person engaged in general medical practice, as distinguished from one specializing in surgery.
a person who is skilled in the art of healing.
Origin of physician
1175-1225; physic + -ian (see -ician); replacing Middle English fisicien < Old French
Related forms
physicianly, adjective
Can be confused
doctor, physician. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for physician
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'm forty-two and not so much of a fool that I ain't a little bit of a physician.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Hope bade one and another run for a physician, but nobody stirred.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • The physician replied that it was not far enough advanced for an operation.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • A physician was immediately summoned, who ordered my shackles removed.

    Biography of a Slave Charles Thompson
  • Do you not intend, Sir, to push his way at court, and obtain for him the post of physician there?

British Dictionary definitions for physician


a person legally qualified to practise medicine, esp one specializing in areas of treatment other than surgery; doctor of medicine
(archaic) any person who treats diseases; healer
Word Origin
C13: from Old French fisicien, from fisiquephysic
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 physician

early 13c., fisicien "a healer, a medical practitioner," from Old French fisiciien "physician, doctor, sage" (12c., Modern French physicien means "physicist"), from fisique "art of healing," from Latin physica "natural science" (see physic). Distinguished from surgeon from c.1400. The ph- spelling attested from late 14c. (see ph).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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physician in Medicine

physician phy·si·cian (fĭ-zĭsh'ən)
Abbr. phys.

  1. Abbr. phys. A person licensed to practice medicine; a medical doctor.

  2. A person who practices general medicine as distinct from surgery.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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