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See more synonyms for apothecary on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural a·poth·e·car·ies.
  1. a druggist; a pharmacist.
  2. a pharmacy or drugstore.
  3. (especially in England and Ireland) a druggist licensed to prescribe medicine.
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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. 2018

Related Words for apothecary

druggist, dispenser, gallipot

Examples from the Web for apothecary

Historical Examples of apothecary

  • What I like about Mr. Fleurant, my apothecary, is that his bills are always civil.

    The Imaginary Invalid


  • So that, if your little girl were old enough, you would give her to an apothecary?

  • For Tom, after much cogitation, the profession of an apothecary had been selected.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Every man's house is now not only his castle, but his apothecary shop.

  • He was the son of an apothecary of Rudkjobing, in the province of Larzeland.

British Dictionary definitions for apothecary


noun plural -caries
  1. an archaic word for pharmacist
  2. law a chemist licensed by the Society of Apothecaries of London to prescribe, prepare, and sell drugs
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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


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

apothecary in Medicine


n. pl. a•poth•e•car•ies
  1. One that prepares and sells drugs and other medicines; a pharmacist.
  2. pharmacy
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.