verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Origin of doctor

1275–1325; Middle English docto(u)r (< Anglo-French) < Latin, equivalent to doc(ēre) to teach + -tor -tor
Related formsdoc·tor·al, doc·to·ri·al [dok-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /dɒkˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjectivedoc·tor·al·ly, doc·to·ri·al·ly, adverbdoc·tor·less, adjectivedoc·tor·ship, nounsub·doc·tor, nounsu·per·doc·tor, nounun·der·doc·tor, nounun·doc·tored, adjective
Can be confuseddoctor physician Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for doctoral

Contemporary Examples of doctoral

Historical Examples of doctoral

British Dictionary definitions for doctoral



a person licensed to practise medicine
a person who has been awarded a higher academic degree in any field of knowledge
mainly US and Canadian a person licensed to practise dentistry or veterinary medicine
Also called: Doctor of the Church (often capital) a title given to any of several of the leading Fathers or theologians in the history of the Christian Church down to the late Middle Ages whose teachings have greatly influenced orthodox Christian thought
angling any of various gaudy artificial flies
informal a person who mends or repairs things
slang a cook on a ship or at a camp
archaic a man, esp a teacher, of learning
a device used for local repair of electroplated surfaces, consisting of an anode of the plating material embedded in an absorbent material containing the solution
(in a paper-making machine) a blade that is set to scrape the roller in order to regulate the thickness of pulp or ink on it
a cool sea breeze blowing in some countriesthe Cape doctor
go for the doctor Australian slang to make a great effort or move very fast, esp in a horse race
what the doctor ordered something needed or desired


  1. to give medical treatment to
  2. to prescribe for (a disease or disorder)
(intr) informal to practise medicinehe doctored in Easter Island for six years
(tr) to repair or mend, esp in a makeshift manner
(tr) to make different in order to deceive, tamper with, falsify, or adulterate
(tr) to adapt for a desired end, effect, etc
(tr) to castrate (a cat, dog, etc)
Derived Formsdoctoral or doctorial (dɒkˈtɔːrɪəl), adjective

Word Origin for doctor

C14: from Latin: teacher, from docēre to teach
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 doctoral



c.1300, "Church father," from Old French doctour, from Medieval Latin doctor "religious teacher, adviser, scholar," in classical Latin "teacher," agent noun from docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting" (see decent). Meaning "holder of highest degree in university" is first found late 14c.; as is that of "medical professional" (replacing native leech (n.2)), though this was not common till late 16c. The transitional stage is exemplified in Chaucer's Doctor of phesike (Latin physica came to be used extensively in Medieval Latin for medicina).

Similar usage of the equivalent of doctor is colloquial in most European languages: cf. Italian dottore, French docteur, German doktor, Lithuanian daktaras, though these are typically not the main word in those languages for a medical healer. For similar evolution, cf. Sanskrit vaidya- "medical doctor," literally "one versed in science." German Arzt, Dutch arts are from Late Latin archiater, from Greek arkhiatros "chief healer," hence "court physician." French médecin is a back-formation from médicine, replacing Old French miege, from Latin medicus.



1590s, "to confer a degree on," from doctor (n.). Meaning "to treat medically" is from 1712; sense of "alter, disguise, falsify" is from 1774. Related: Doctored; doctoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

doctoral in Medicine




A person, especially a physician, dentist, or veterinarian, trained in the healing arts and licensed to practice.
A person who has earned the highest academic degree awarded by a university in a specified discipline.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with doctoral


see just what the doctor ordered.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.