from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that prepares and sells drugs and other medicines; a pharmacist.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who practises pharmacy; a skilled person who prepares drugs for medicinal uses and keeps them for sale; a pharmacist.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who prepares and sells drugs or compounds for medicinal purposes.
  • noun the system of weights by which medical prescriptions were formerly compounded. The pound and ounce are the same as in Troy weight; they differ only in the manner of subdivision. The ounce is divided into 8 drams, 24 scruples, 480 grains. See Troy weight.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun now historical A person who makes and provides/sells drugs and/or medicines.
  • noun nonstandard, now historical A drugstore or pharmacy.

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

  • noun a health professional trained in the art of preparing and dispensing drugs


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

[Middle English apotecarie, from Old French apotecaire and from Medieval Latin apothēcārius, both from Late Latin, clerk, from Latin apothēca, storehouse, from Greek apothēkē : apo-, away; see apo– + thēkē, receptacle; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French apotecaire, from Medieval Latin apothecarius ("storekeeper"), from apotheca ("shop, store"), earlier Latin apotheca ("repository, storehouse, warehouse"), from Ancient Greek ἀποθήκη (apothēkē, "a repository, storehouse"), from ἀποτίθημι (apotithēmi, "to put away"), from ἀπό (apo, "away") (English apo-, PIE cognate to of) + τίθημι (tithēmi, "to put") (PIE cognate of English do).


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  • May the poth be with you.

    December 13, 2008

  • See notes on grossarii (thence cubebs) and grocer and spicer and unguent for more. 

    "The medieval spice merchant or apothecary seems to have handled several kinds of products whose relation to each other is not all that clear: edible spices, medicine, sweets (including medicinal preparations but also candied fruit, sugar-coated nuts and spices, nougats, confectionary of all kinds), cordials (spiced and fortified wines), wax (candles and sealing wax), paper, and ink. Such establishments might even sell pasta or gunpowder. From Constantinople the regulations for the guild of perfumers show the overlap between fragrance and dyestuffs. The members of the guild were instructed to have a standing supply of exotics that included edible spices, incense substances, and dye-coloring agents in addition to perfume ingredients."

    Paul Freedman, Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 2008), 119. 

    November 28, 2017