[ 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), ac·u·punc·tured, ac·u·punc·tur·ing.

to perform acupuncture on.



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Origin of acupuncture

1675–85; <Latin acū with a needle (ablative of acus needle) or acu- (as combining form of acus) + puncture

Words nearby acupuncture Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for acupuncture

British Dictionary definitions for acupuncture

/ (ˈækjʊˌpʌŋktʃə) /


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 worldAlso called: stylostixis

Derived forms of acupuncture

acupunctural, adjectiveacupuncturist, noun

Word Origin for acupuncture

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

Medical definitions for acupuncture

[ ăkyə-pŭngk′chər ]


A procedure used in or adapted from Chinese medical practice in which specific body areas are pierced with fine needles for therapeutic purposes or to relieve pain or produce regional anesthesia.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for acupuncture

[ ăkyu-pŭngk′chər ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.