[ nurs ]
See synonyms for: nursenursednursing on

  1. a person formally educated and trained in the care of the sick or infirm.: Compare nurse-midwife, nurse-practitioner, physician's assistant, practical nurse, registered nurse.

  2. a woman who has the general care of a child or children; dry nurse.

  1. a woman employed to suckle an infant; wet nurse.

  2. any fostering agency or influence.

  3. Entomology. a worker that attends the young in a colony of social insects.

  4. Billiards. the act of maintaining the position of billiard balls in preparation for a carom.

verb (used with object),nursed, nurs·ing.
  1. to tend or minister to in sickness, infirmity, etc.

  2. to try to cure (an ailment) by taking care of oneself: to nurse a cold.

  1. to look after carefully so as to promote growth, development, etc.; foster; cherish: to nurse one's meager talents.

  2. to treat or handle with adroit care in order to further one's own interests: to nurse one's nest egg.

  3. to use, consume, or dispense very slowly or carefully: He nursed the one drink all evening.

  4. to keep steadily in mind or memory: He nursed a grudge against me all the rest of his life.

  5. to suckle (an infant).

  6. to feed and tend in infancy.

  7. to bring up, train, or nurture.

  8. to clasp or handle carefully or fondly: to nurse a plate of food on one's lap.

  9. Billiards. to maintain the position of (billiard balls) for a series of caroms.

verb (used without object),nursed, nurs·ing.
  1. to suckle a child, especially one's own.

  2. (of a child) to suckle: The child did not nurse after he was three months old.

  1. to act as nurse; tend the sick or infirm.

Origin of nurse

First recorded before 1350–1400; (noun) Middle English, variant of n(o)urice, norice, from Old French, from Late Latin nūtrīcia, noun use of feminine of Latin nūtrīciusnutritious; (verb) earlier nursh (reduced form of nourish), assimilated to the noun

synonym study For nurse

14. Nurse, nourish, nurture may be used almost interchangeably to refer to bringing up the young. Nurse, however, suggests attendance and service; nourish emphasizes providing whatever is needful for development; and nurture suggests tenderness and solicitude in training mind and manners.

Other words for nurse

Opposites for nurse

Other words from nurse

  • non·nurs·ing, adjective
  • o·ver·nurse, verb (used with object), o·ver·nursed, o·ver·nurs·ing.
  • un·der·nurse, noun
  • well-nursed, adjective

Words Nearby nurse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nurse in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nurse


/ (nɜːs) /

  1. a person who tends the sick, injured, or infirm

  2. short for nursemaid

  1. a woman employed to breast-feed another woman's child; wet nurse

  2. a worker in a colony of social insects that takes care of the larvae

verb(mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to tend (the sick)

  2. (also intr) to feed (a baby) at the breast; suckle

  1. to try to cure (an ailment)

  2. to clasp carefully or fondly: she nursed the crying child in her arms

  3. (also intr) (of a baby) to suckle at the breast (of)

  4. to look after (a child) as one's employment

  5. to attend to carefully; foster, cherish: he nursed the magazine through its first year; having a very small majority he nursed the constituency diligently

  6. to harbour; preserve: to nurse a grudge

  7. billiards to keep (the balls) together for a series of cannons

Origin of nurse

C16: from earlier norice, Old French nourice, from Late Latin nūtrīcia nurse, from Latin nūtrīcius nourishing, from nūtrīre to nourish

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