curing or curative; prescribed or helping to heal.
growing sound; getting well; mending.


the act or process of regaining health: a new drug to accelerate healing.

Origin of healing

before 1000; Middle English heelyng (adj.), helynge (noun), Old English hǣlinge (noun). See heal, -ing2, -ing1
Related formsheal·ing·ly, adverbself-heal·ing, adjectiveun·heal·ing, adjective



verb (used with object)

to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment.
to bring to an end or conclusion, as conflicts between people or groups, usually with the strong implication of restoring former amity; settle; reconcile: They tried to heal the rift between them but were unsuccessful.
to free from evil; cleanse; purify: to heal the soul.

verb (used without object)

to effect a cure.
(of a wound, broken bone, etc.) to become whole or sound; mend; get well (often followed by up or over).

Origin of heal

before 900; Middle English helen, Old English hǣlan (cognate with Dutch helen, German heilen, Old Norse heila, Gothic hailjan), derivative of hāl hale1, whole
Related formsheal·a·ble, adjectivehalf-healed, adjectivepre·heal, verb (used with object)un·heal·a·ble, adjectiveun·healed, adjectivewell-healed, adjective
Can be confusedheal heel he'll

Synonyms for heal

Synonym study

1. See cure.

Antonyms for heal

1, 2. irritate. 3. soil, infect.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for healing

curative, mending, curing, invigorating, remedial, medicinal

Examples from the Web for healing

Contemporary Examples of healing

Historical Examples of healing

  • In a land of healing miracles, neighbors must not suffer and die unattended.

  • She had need of their strength, their quiet and their healing.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • His martyrdom was continued by forbidding him all access to the healing waters.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • And all science must culminate at last in the science of healing—not the weak, but the strong.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • The hurt was not dangerous, though it bled freely, and was some weeks in healing.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for healing



to restore or be restored to health
(intr; often foll by over or up) (of a wound, burn, etc) to repair by natural processes, as by scar formation
  1. to treat (a wound, etc) by assisting in its natural repair
  2. to cure (a disease or disorder)
to restore or be restored to friendly relations, harmony, etc
Derived Formshealable, adjectivehealer, nounhealing, noun, adjective

Word Origin for heal

Old English hælan; related to Old Norse heila, Gothic hailjan, Old High German heilen; see hale 1, whole
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 healing

"restoration to health," Old English hæling; see heal. Figurative sense of "restoration of wholeness" is from early 13c.; meaning "touch that cures" is from 1670s.



Old English hælan "cure; save; make whole, sound and well," from Proto-Germanic *hailjan (cf. Old Saxon helian, Old Norse heila, Old Frisian hela, Dutch helen, German heilen, Gothic ga-hailjan "to heal, cure"), literally "to make whole" (see health). Related: Healed; healing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

healing in Medicine




To restore to health or soundness; cure.
To become well; return to sound health.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.