[ fiz-ik ]
/ ˈfɪz ɪk /


a medicine that purges; cathartic; laxative.
any medicine; a drug or medicament.
Archaic. the medical art or profession.
Obsolete. natural science.

verb (used with object), phys·icked, phys·ick·ing.

to treat with or act upon as a physic or medicine.
to work upon as a medicine does; relieve or cure.

Origin of physic

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English fisyk(e), phisik(e) (< Old French fisique) < Latin physica natural science (Medieval Latin: medical science) < Greek physikḗ science of nature, noun use of feminine adj.: pertaining to nature (akin to phŷlon tribe, phylon); (v.) Middle English, derivative of the noun

Can be confused

physic physique Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for physic

British Dictionary definitions for physic


/ (ˈfɪzɪk) /


rare a medicine or drug, esp a cathartic or purge
archaic the art or skill of healing
an archaic term for physics (def. 1)

verb -ics, -icking or -icked

(tr) archaic to treat (a patient) with medicine

Derived Forms

physicky, adjective

Word Origin for physic

C13: from Old French fisique, via Latin, from Greek phusikē, from phusis nature
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 physic


[ fĭzĭk ]


A medicine or drug, especially a cathartic.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.