[ nurs ]
/ nɜrs /


verb (used with object), nursed, nurs·ing.

verb (used without object), nursed, nurs·ing.

Origin of nurse

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English, variant of n(o)urice, norice < Old French < Late Latin nūtrīcia, noun use of feminine of Latin nūtrīcius nutritious; (v.) earlier nursh (reduced form of nourish), assimilated to the noun


14 rear, raise. 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.

Related forms

non·nurs·ing, adjectiveo·ver·nurse, verb (used with object), o·ver·nursed, o·ver·nurs·ing.un·der·nurse, nounwell-nursed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nursing

British Dictionary definitions for nursing (1 of 2)


/ (ˈnɜːsɪŋ) /


  1. the practice or profession of caring for the sick and injured
  2. (as modifier)a nursing home

British Dictionary definitions for nursing (2 of 2)


/ (nɜːs) /


verb (mainly tr)

Word Origin for 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

Medicine definitions for nursing (1 of 2)


[ nûrsĭng ]


The profession of a nurse.
The tasks performed or care provided by a nurse.
The act or practice of breast-feeding.

Medicine definitions for nursing (2 of 2)


[ nûrs ]


A person trained to care for the sick or disabled, especially one educated in the scientific basis of human response to health problems and trained to assist a physician.
A wet nurse.
An individual who cares for an infant or young child.


To serve as a nurse.
To provide or take nourishment from the breast; suckle.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.