Definitions

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

  • noun A person who is licensed to practice medicine and has trained at a school of medicine, chiropractic, optometry, podiatry, dentistry, or veterinary medicine.
  • noun A practitioner of alternative medicine or folk medicine who does not have traditional medical credentials.
  • noun A person who has earned the highest academic degree, usually a PhD, awarded by a college or university in a specified discipline.
  • noun A person awarded an honorary degree by a college or university.
  • noun Used as a title and form of address for a person holding the degree of doctor.
  • noun Roman Catholic Church An eminent theologian.
  • noun A rig or device contrived for remedying an emergency situation or for doing a special task.
  • intransitive verb Informal To give medical treatment to.
  • intransitive verb To repair, especially in a makeshift manner; rig.
  • intransitive verb To falsify or change in such a way as to make favorable to oneself.
  • intransitive verb To add ingredients so as to improve or conceal the taste, appearance, or quality of.
  • intransitive verb To alter or modify for a specific end.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To deface or apply a substance to (the ball) in violation of the rules in order to throw a pitch with extraordinary movement.
  • intransitive verb To practice medicine.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In angling, a name applied to several artificial flies: as, the blue doctor, the silver doctor, etc.
  • noun A boiler feed-pump such as has been preferred on the western rivers of the United States.
  • noun The cook of a merchant vessel; also, the cook of a lumber-camp.
  • noun A teacher; an instructor; a learned man; one skilled in a learned profession.
  • noun In a university, one who has passed all the degrees of a faculty, and is thereby empowered to teach the subjects included in the faculty; a person who has received the highest degree in a faculty: as, a doctor in divinity.
  • noun Specifically A person duly licensed to practise medicine; a physician; one whose occupation is to cure diseases.
  • noun A minor part of certain pieces of machinery employed in regulating the feed or in removing surplus material; specifically, the roller in a power printing-press which serves as a conductor of ink to the distributing rollers (see crab-roller, drop-roller): as, a color-doctor; a cleaning-doctor; a lint-doctor, etc.
  • noun An auxiliary steam-engine; a donkey-engine.
  • noun In wine-making: A liquor used to mix with inferior wine to make it more palatable, or to give it a resemblance to a better wine.
  • noun A liquor used to darken the color of wine, as boiled must mixed with pale sherry to produce brown sherry. See shcrry, mosto, and must.
  • noun A translation of a local name in North Africa of the bird Emberiza striolata. See the extract.
  • noun Same as doctor-fish.
  • noun plural False or doctored dice.
  • noun In some American universities, a degree superior to that of master of arts. Abbreviated Ph. D. See above, 2.
  • To treat, as a doctor or physician; treat medicinally; apply medicines for the cure of; administer medicine or medical treatment to: as, to doctor a disease; to doctor a patient.
  • To repair; mend; patch up.
  • To confer the degree of doctor upon.
  • To disguise by mixture or manipulation; especially, to alter for the purpose of deception; give a false appearance to; adulterate; cook up; tamper with: as, to doctor wine or an account.
  • To practise physic.
  • To receive medical treatment; take medicine: as, to doctor for ague.

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

  • intransitive verb colloq. To practice physic.
  • transitive verb colloq. To treat as a physician does; to apply remedies to; to repair.
  • transitive verb To confer a doctorate upon; to make a doctor.
  • transitive verb Slang To tamper with and arrange for one's own purposes; to falsify; to adulterate
  • noun obsolete A teacher; one skilled in a profession, or branch of knowledge; a learned man.
  • noun An academical title, originally meaning a man so well versed in his department as to be qualified to teach it. Hence: One who has taken the highest degree conferred by a university or college, or has received a diploma of the highest degree. Such diplomas may confer an honorary title only.
  • noun One duly licensed to practice medicine; a member of the medical profession; a physician.
  • noun Any mechanical contrivance intended to remedy a difficulty or serve some purpose in an exigency
  • noun (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. The friar skate.
  • noun See under Commons.
  • noun physic, medicine.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any fish of the genus Acanthurus; the surgeon fish; -- so called from a sharp lancetlike spine on each side of the tail. Also called barber fish. See Surgeon fish.

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

  • noun A person who has attained a doctorate, such as a Ph.D. or Th.D. or one of many other terminal degrees conferred by a college or university.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, an expert, authority, from Old French docteur, from Latin doctor, teacher, from docēre, to teach; see dek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English doctor, doctour ("an expert, authority on a subject"), from Anglo-Norman doctour, from Latin doctor ("teacher"), from doceō ("I teach"). Displaced native Middle English lerare ("doctor, teacher") (from Middle English leren ("to teach, instruct") from Old English lǣran, lēran ("to teach, instruct, guide"), compare Old English lārēow ("teacher, master")).

Examples

  • He took the degree of doctor of theology, and seems to have received the complimentary title of _doctor mirabilis_.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon"

  • This is often confusing to many who limit their use of the term doctor to refer to medical physicians, such as psy­chiatrists and cardiologists.

    NPR Topics: News

  • OZ: The word "doctor" comes from the Latin word for teacher, and like any teacher/pupil relationship, it is a two-way street and I learn much from my patients especially about these topics, so I encourage viewers to talk openly with their physicians about this and actually push their doctors a little bit to open up about integrative therapies including, prayer and meditation.

    CNN Transcript Nov 2, 2003

  • “Dr. Casey,” I said, the word doctor now sounding absolutely pornographic, “did you or did you not allow your father to cover up numerous failed classes during your medical school education?”

    The Faculty Club

  • “Dr. Casey,” I said, the word doctor now sounding absolutely pornographic, “did you or did you not allow your father to cover up numerous failed classes during your medical school education?”

    The Faculty Club

  • “Dr. Casey,” I said, the word doctor now sounding absolutely pornographic, “did you or did you not allow your father to cover up numerous failed classes during your medical school education?”

    The Faculty Club

  • “Dr. Casey,” I said, the word doctor now sounding absolutely pornographic, “did you or did you not allow your father to cover up numerous failed classes during your medical school education?”

    The Faculty Club

  • “Dr. Casey,” I said, the word doctor now sounding absolutely pornographic, “did you or did you not allow your father to cover up numerous failed classes during your medical school education?”

    The Faculty Club

  • The word doctor is from the Latin docere, meaning to teach.

    The 10 Best Questions™ for Recovering from a Heart Attack

  • But what drug addicts do, we ` ve heard the term doctor shopping.

    CNN Transcript Jul 16, 2009

Comments

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  • Contronymic in the sense: heal vs. spoil (as a drink).

    January 27, 2007

  • "If one doctor doctors another doctor, does the

    doctor that's doctoring the doctor doctor the

    doctor the way the doctor that's being doctored

    doctors, or does s/he doctor the doctor the way the

    doctor that's doctoring doctors doctors?"

    --Tongue Twisters and Tricky Tanglers by Duncan Emrich

    September 11, 2007

  • Doctor... Doctor who?

    July 15, 2008

  • Exactly.

    July 15, 2008