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noun, plural phar·ma·cies.
  1. Also called pharmaceutics. the art and science of preparing and dispensing drugs and medicines.
  2. a drugstore.
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Origin of pharmacy

1645–55; earlier pharmacia < Medieval Latin < Greek pharmakeía druggist's work. See pharmaco-, -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

apothecary, dispensary, drugstore, pharmacopoeia

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British Dictionary definitions for pharmacy


noun plural -cies
  1. Also called: pharmaceutics the practice or art of preparing and dispensing drugs
  2. a dispensary
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Word Origin

C14: from Medieval Latin pharmacia, from Greek pharmakeia making of drugs, from pharmakon drug
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 pharmacy


late 14c., "a medicine," from Old French farmacie "a purgative" (13c.), from Medieval Latin pharmacia, from Greek pharmakeia "use of drugs, medicines, potions, or spells; poisoning, witchcraft; remedy, cure," from pharmakeus (fem. pharmakis) "preparer of drugs, poisoner, sorcorer" from pharmakon "drug, poison, philter, charm, spell, enchantment." Meaning "use or administration of drugs" is attested from c.1400; that of "place where drugs are prepared and dispensed" is first recorded 1833. The ph- was restored 16c. in French, 17c. in English (see -ph-).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pharmacy in Medicine


  1. The art of preparing and dispensing drugs.
  2. A place where drugs are sold; a drugstore.apothecary
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.