[ med-i-kuhl ]
/ ˈmɛd ɪ kəl /
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of or relating to the science or practice of medicine: medical history; medical treatment.
curative; medicinal; therapeutic: medical properties.
pertaining to or requiring treatment by other than surgical means.
pertaining to or giving evidence of the state of one's health: a medical discharge from the army; a medical examination.
something done or received in regard to the state of one's health, as a medical examination.
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Origin of medical

1640–50; <Medieval Latin medicālis, equivalent to Latin medic(us) medical (adj.), physician (noun) (derivative of medērī to heal; see -ic) + -ālis-al1


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does medical mean?

Medical describes something related to the science or practice of medicine, as in My doctor’s medical experience with cancer is extensive.

Medical also describes something that provides a cure or therapy for an illness or disease, as in Garlic has medical properties that have been widely studied.

Example: He has to receive medical treatment one way or another.

Where does medical come from?

The first records of the term medical come from the mid-1600s. It comes from the Latin medicus, meaning “medical” or “physician.”

Medical is used to describe many things related to medicine, such as examinations, treatments, and experts. When this word is applied to something, it usually has a specific meaning, such as a medical expert being a doctor or nurse.

Even though they are very similar, there is often a distinct line drawn between a medical treatment and a surgical treatment. A medical treatment can include ways to treat a health problem, such as medicine, casts, stitches, and the giving of oxygen. A surgical treatment only includes surgery.

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What are some other forms related to medical?

  • medically (adverb)
  • antimedical (adjective)
  • nonmedical (adjective)
  • pseudomedical (adjective)

What are some synonyms for medical?

What are some words that share a root or word element with medical?

What are some words that often get used in discussing medical?

How is medical used in real life?

Medical is used both in professional circumstances, as well as casual conversations.



Try using medical!

True or False?

If you severely cut yourself, medical treatment might includes stitches.

How to use medical in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for medical

/ (ˈmɛdɪkəl) /

of or relating to the science of medicine or to the treatment of patients by drugs, etc, as opposed to surgery
a less common word for medicinal
informal a medical examination

Derived forms of medical

medically, adverb

Word Origin for medical

C17: from Medieval Latin medicālis, from Latin medicus physician, surgeon, from medērī to heal
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