a. The science and art of diagnosing and treating disease or injury and maintaining health.
b. The branch of this science encompassing treatment by drugs, diet, exercise, and other nonsurgical means.
2. The practice of medicine.
3. A substance, especially a drug, used to treat the signs and symptoms of a disease, condition, or injury.
4. Something that serves as a remedy or corrective: medicine for rebuilding the economy; measures that were harsh medicine.
a. Shamanistic practices or beliefs, especially among Native Americans.
b. Something, such as a ritual practice or sacred object, believed to control natural or supernatural powers or serve as a preventive or remedy.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin medicīna, from feminine of medicīnus, of a doctor, from medicus, physician; see MEDICAL.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus