Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person educated and trained to care for the sick or disabled.
  • n. A woman employed to take care of a child; a nursemaid.
  • n. A woman employed to suckle children other than her own; a wet nurse.
  • n. One that serves as a nurturing or fostering influence or means: "Town life is the nurse of civilization” ( C.L.R. James).
  • n. Zoology A worker ant or bee that feeds and cares for the colony's young.
  • transitive v. To serve as a nurse for: nursed the patient back to health.
  • transitive v. To cause or allow to take milk from the breast: a mother nursing her baby.
  • transitive v. To feed at the breast of; suckle.
  • transitive v. To try to cure by special care or treatment: nurse a cough with various remedies.
  • transitive v. To treat carefully, especially in order to prevent pain: He nursed his injured knee by shifting his weight to the other leg.
  • transitive v. To manage or guide carefully; look after with care; foster: nursed her business through the depression. See Synonyms at nurture.
  • transitive v. To bear privately in the mind: nursing a grudge.
  • transitive v. To consume slowly, especially in order to conserve: nursed one drink all evening.
  • intransitive v. To serve as a nurse.
  • intransitive v. To take nourishment from the breast; suckle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A wet-nurse.
  • n. A person (usually a woman) who takes care of other people’s young.
  • n. A person trained to provide care for the sick.
  • v. to breast feed
  • v. to care for the sick
  • v. to treat kindly and with extra care
  • v. to drink slowly
  • v. to foster, to nourish

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who nourishes; a person who supplies food, tends, or brings up; as: (a) A woman who has the care of young children; especially, one who suckles an infant not her own. (b) A person, especially a woman, who has the care of the sick or infirm.
  • n. One who, or that which, brings up, rears, causes to grow, trains, fosters, or the like.
  • n. A lieutenant or first officer, who is the real commander when the captain is unfit for his place.
  • n.
  • n. A peculiar larva of certain trematodes which produces cercariæ by asexual reproduction. See Cercaria, and Redia.
  • n. Either one of the nurse sharks.
  • transitive v. To nourish; to cherish; to foster.
  • transitive v. To nourish at the breast; to suckle; to feed and tend, as an infant.
  • transitive v. To take care of or tend, as a sick person or an invalid; to attend upon.
  • transitive v. To bring up; to raise, by care, from a weak or invalid condition; to foster; to cherish; -- applied to plants, animals, and to any object that needs, or thrives by, attention.
  • transitive v. To manage with care and economy, with a view to increase.
  • transitive v. To caress; to fondle, as a nurse does.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To suckle; nourish at the breast; feed and tend generally in infancy.
  • To rear; nurture; bring up.
  • To tend in sickness or infirmity; take care of: as, to nurse an invalid or an aged person.
  • To promote growth or vigor in; encourage; foster; care for with the intent or effect of promoting growth, increase, development, etc.
  • To caress; fondle; dandle.
  • To Cheat.
  • Synonyms Nourish, etc. See nurture, v. t.
  • To act as nurse; specifically, to suckle a child: as, a nursing woman.
  • In billiards, formerly, to make a number of consecutive caroms, as rapid as dainty, off (balls) held but an inch or two apart.
  • n. A woman who nourishes or suckles an infant; specifically, a woman who suckles the infant of another: commonly called a wet-nurse; also, a female servant who has the core of a child or of children.
  • n. Hence, one who or that which nurtures, trains, cherishes, or protects.
  • n. One who has the care of a sick or infirm person, as an attendant in a hospital.
  • n. In the United States navy, a sick-bay attendant, formerly called loblolly-boy.
  • n. The state of being nursed or in the care of a nurse: as, to put out a child to nurse.
  • n. In horticulture, a shrub or tree which protects a young plant.
  • n. In ichthyology, a name of various sharks of inactive habits, which rest for a long time or bask in the water.
  • n. A blastozoöid. See the quotation.
  • n. In brewing, a cask of hot or cold water immersed in wort. See the quotation.
  • n. A nurse-frog.
  • n. In entomology, one of the worker-ants or worker-bees whose function in the colony is to care for the young brood.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. give suck to
  • n. a woman who is the custodian of children
  • v. try to cure by special care of treatment, of an illness or injury
  • n. one skilled in caring for young children or the sick (usually under the supervision of a physician)
  • v. serve as a nurse; care for sick or handicapped people
  • v. maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings)
  • v. treat carefully

Etymologies

Middle English norice, nurse, wet nurse, from Old French norrice, from Vulgar Latin *nutrīcia, from Late Latin nūtrīcia, from feminine of Latin nūtrīcius, that suckles, from nūtrīx, nūtrīc-, wet nurse.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Variant form of the archaic nourice, from Old French norrice, from Latin nutricius ("that nourishes"), from nutrix ("wet nurse"), from nutrire ("to suckle"). (Wiktionary)

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