[ pri-skrip-shuh n ]
/ prɪˈskrɪp ʃən /


  1. a direction, usually written, by the physician to the pharmacist for the preparation and use of a medicine or remedy.
  2. the medicine prescribed: Take this prescription three times a day.
an act of prescribing.
that which is prescribed.
  1. Also called positive prescription. a long or immemorial use of some right with respect to a thing so as to give a right to continue such use.
  2. Also called positive prescription. the process of acquiring rights by uninterrupted assertion of the right over a long period of time.
  3. Also called negative prescription. the loss of rights to legal remedy due to the limitation of time within which an action can be taken.


(of drugs) sold only upon medical prescription; ethical.Compare over-the-counter(def 2).

Origin of prescription

1250–1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin praescrīptiōn- (stem of praescrīptiō) legal possession (of property), law, order, literally, a writing before, hence, a heading on a document. See prescript, -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for prescription

British Dictionary definitions for prescription

/ (prɪˈskrɪpʃən) /


Word Origin for prescription

C14: from legal Latin praescriptiō an order, prescription; see prescribe
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

Medical definitions for prescription

[ prĭ-skrĭpshən ]


An order, especially by a physician, for the preparation and administration of a medicine, therapeutic regimen, assistive or corrective device, or other treatment.
A prescribed medicine.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.