- to lay down, in writing or otherwise, as a rule or a course of action to be followed; appoint, ordain, or enjoin.
- Medicine/Medical. to designate or order the use of (a medicine, remedy, treatment, etc.).
- to lay down rules; direct; dictate.
- Medicine/Medical. to designate remedies, treatment, etc., to be used.
- Law. to claim a right or title by virtue of long use and enjoyment; make a prescriptive claim. (usually followed by for or to).
Origin of prescribe
Synonyms for prescribe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to lay down as a rule or directive
- law to claim or acquire (a right, title, etc) by prescription
- law to make or become invalid or unenforceable by lapse of time
- med to recommend or order the use of (a drug or other remedy)
Word Origin for prescribe
C16: from Latin praescrībere to write previously, from prae before + scrībere to write
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 overprescribe
"to write down as a direction," mid-15c., from Latin praescribere "write beforehand" (see prescription). Related: Prescribed; prescribing. Medical sense is from 1580s, probably a back formation from prescription.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- To prescribe medication excessively.
- To give directions, either orally or in writing, for the preparation and administration of a remedy to be used in the treatment of a disease.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.