[fi-zish-uh n]


a person who is legally qualified to practice medicine; doctor of medicine.
a person engaged in general medical practice, as distinguished from one specializing in surgery.
a person who is skilled in the art of healing.

Origin of physician

1175–1225; physic + -ian (see -ician); replacing Middle English fisicien < Old French
Related formsphy·si·cian·ly, adjective
Can be confuseddoctor physician Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for physician

specialist, doctor, surgeon, quack, medic, intern, healer, MD, doc, bones, sawbones

Examples from the Web for physician

Contemporary Examples of physician

Historical Examples of physician

  • I'm forty-two and not so much of a fool that I ain't a little bit of a physician.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Hope bade one and another run for a physician, but nobody stirred.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • The physician replied that it was not far enough advanced for an operation.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • A physician was immediately summoned, who ordered my shackles removed.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • Do you not intend, Sir, to push his way at court, and obtain for him the post of physician there?

British Dictionary definitions for physician



a person legally qualified to practise medicine, esp one specializing in areas of treatment other than surgery; doctor of medicine
archaic any person who treats diseases; healer

Word Origin for physician

C13: from Old French fisicien, from fisique physic
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 physician

early 13c., fisicien "a healer, a medical practitioner," from Old French fisiciien "physician, doctor, sage" (12c., Modern French physicien means "physicist"), from fisique "art of healing," from Latin physica "natural science" (see physic). Distinguished from surgeon from c.1400. The ph- spelling attested from late 14c. (see ph).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

physician in Medicine




A person licensed to practice medicine; a medical doctor.
A person who practices general medicine as distinct from surgery.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.