• synonyms


  1. a medicine that purges; cathartic; laxative.
  2. any medicine; a drug or medicament.
  3. Archaic. the medical art or profession.
  4. Obsolete. natural science.
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verb (used with object), phys·icked, phys·ick·ing.
  1. to treat with or act upon as a physic or medicine.
  2. to work upon as a medicine does; relieve or cure.
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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 confusedphysic physique
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for physicking

medication, help, corrective, alleviation, antidote, redress, nostrum, recovery, assistance, panacea, treatment, medicine, reparation, remedy, healing, elixir, medicament, drug, aid, fix

Examples from the Web for physicking

Historical Examples of physicking

  • The physicking and shoeing is taken by contract, by one man.

    Here and There in London

    J. Ewing Ritchie

  • This physicking was continued for two long, long days, and then I began slowly to recover.

    Visit to Iceland

    Ida Pfeiffer

  • Now, physicking off generally weakens us, instead of giving strength.

  • Victualling and physicking are very good things, but must be done in season.

  • Sometimes they pine and fall into a slow consumption, we nursing, cockering, and physicking them to the last.


    Rhoda Broughton

British Dictionary definitions for physicking


  1. rare a medicine or drug, esp a cathartic or purge
  2. archaic the art or skill of healing
  3. an archaic term for physics (def. 1)
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verb -ics, -icking or -icked
  1. (tr) archaic to treat (a patient) with medicine
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Derived Formsphysicky, 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

Word Origin and History for physicking



c.1300, fysike, "art of healing, medical science," also "natural science" (c.1300), from Old French fisike "natural science, art of healing" (12c.) and directly from Latin physica (fem. singular of physicus) "study of nature," from Greek physike (episteme) "(knowledge) of nature," from fem. of physikos "pertaining to nature," from physis "nature," from phyein "to bring forth, produce, make to grow" (cf. phyton "growth, plant," phyle "tribe, race," phyma "a growth, tumor") from PIE root *bheue- "to be exist, grow" (see be). Spelling with ph- attested from late 14c. (see ph). As a noun, "medicine that acts as a laxative," 1610s. The verb meaning "to dose with medicine" is attested from late 14c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

physicking in Medicine


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