apothecary

[uh-poth-uh-ker-ee]

noun, plural a·poth·e·car·ies.

a druggist; a pharmacist.
a pharmacy or drugstore.
(especially in England and Ireland) a druggist licensed to prescribe medicine.

Nearby words

  1. apostrophic,
  2. apostrophize,
  3. apothecaries weight,
  4. apothecaries' measure,
  5. apothecaries' weight,
  6. apothecary jar,
  7. apothecium,
  8. apothegm,
  9. apothem,
  10. apotheosis

Origin of apothecary

1325–75; Middle English (< Old French) < Medieval Latin apothēcārius seller of spices and drugs, Late Latin: shopkeeper, equivalent to Latin apothēc(a) shop, storehouse (< Greek apothḗkē; see apo-, theca) + -ārius -ary

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apothecary


British Dictionary definitions for apothecary

apothecary

noun plural -caries

an archaic word for pharmacist
law a chemist licensed by the Society of Apothecaries of London to prescribe, prepare, and sell drugs

Word Origin for apothecary

C14: from Old French apotecaire, from Late Latin apothēcārius warehouseman, from apothēca, from Greek apothēkē storehouse

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

Word Origin and History for apothecary

apothecary

n.

mid-14c., "shopkeeper, especially one who stores, compounds, and sells medicaments," from Old French apotecaire (13c., Modern French apothicaire), from Late Latin apothecarius "storekeeper," from Latin apotheca "storehouse," from Greek apotheke "barn, storehouse," literally "a place where things are put away," from apo- "away" (see apo-) + tithenai "to put," from PIE root *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious). Same root produced French boutique and Spanish bodega. Cognate compounds produced Sanskrit apadha- "concealment," Old Persian apadana- "palace."

Drugs and herbs being among the chief items of non-perishable goods, the meaning narrowed 17c. to "druggist" (Apothecaries' Company of London separated from the Grocers' in 1617). Apothecaries formerly were notorious for "the assumed gravity and affectation of knowledge generally put on by the gentlemen of this profession, who are commonly as superficial in their learning as they are pedantic in their language" [Francis Grose, "A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1796]. Hence, Apothecary's Latin, barbarously mangled, also known as Dog Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for apothecary

apothecary

[ə-pŏthĭ-kĕr′ē]

n. pl. a•poth•e•car•ies

One that prepares and sells drugs and other medicines; a pharmacist.
pharmacy

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