- (used with a plural verb) the remedial substances employed in medicine.
- (used with a singular verb) Also called pharmacognosy. the science dealing with the sources, physical characteristics, uses, and doses of drugs.
Origin of materia medica
1690–1700; < Medieval Latin: medical material
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for materia medica
A copy of materia-medica and a Latin dictionary were the only guides to the beginner of a medical career in those days.Watch Yourself Go By
Al. G. Field
- the branch of medical science concerned with the study of drugs used in the treatment of disease: includes pharmacology, clinical pharmacology, and the history and physical and chemical properties of drugs
- the drugs used in the treatment of disease
C17: from Medieval Latin: medical matter
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 materia medica
"substances used in medicine," Latin, literally "medical matter."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The branch of medical science that deals with the origin, preparation, dosage, and administration of drugs.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.