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

  • n. A person, especially a physician, dentist, or veterinarian, trained in the healing arts and licensed to practice.
  • n. A person who has earned the highest academic degree awarded by a college or university in a specified discipline.
  • n. A person awarded an honorary degree by a college or university.
  • n. Used as a title and form of address for a person holding the degree of doctor.
  • n. Roman Catholic Church An eminent theologian.
  • n. A practitioner of folk medicine or folk magic.
  • n. A rig or device contrived for remedying an emergency situation or for doing a special task.
  • n. Any of several brightly colored artificial flies used in fly fishing.
  • transitive v. Informal To give medical treatment to: "[He] does more than practice medicine. He doctors people. There's a difference” ( Charles Kuralt).
  • transitive v. To repair, especially in a makeshift manner; rig.
  • transitive v. To falsify or change in such a way as to make favorable to oneself: doctored the evidence.
  • transitive v. To add ingredients so as to improve or conceal the taste, appearance, or quality of: doctor the soup with a dash of sherry. See Synonyms at adulterate.
  • transitive v. To alter or modify for a specific end: doctored my standard speech for the small-town audience.
  • transitive v. Baseball To deface or apply a substance to (the ball): was ejected because he doctored the ball with a piece of sandpaper.
  • intransitive v. Informal To practice medicine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.
  • n. A physician; a member of the medical profession; one who is trained and licensed to heal the sick. The final examination and qualification may award a doctorate in which case the post-nominal letters are DO, DPM, MD, DMD, DDS, DPT, DC, in the US or MBBS in the UK.
  • n. A veterinarian; a member of the medical profession; one who is trained and licensed to heal the sick.
  • n. A nickname for a person who has special knowledge or talents to manipulate or arrange transactions.
  • v. To act as a medical doctor to.
  • v. To make (someone) into an (academic) doctor.
  • v. To physically alter (medically or surgically) a living being in order to change growth or behavior.
  • v. To genetically alter an extant species.
  • v. To alter or make obscure, as with the intention to deceive, especially a document.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A teacher; one skilled in a profession, or branch of knowledge; a learned man.
  • n. 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.
  • n. One duly licensed to practice medicine; a member of the medical profession; a physician.
  • n. Any mechanical contrivance intended to remedy a difficulty or serve some purpose in an exigency
  • n. The friar skate.
  • intransitive v. To practice physic.
  • transitive v. To treat as a physician does; to apply remedies to; to repair.
  • transitive v. To confer a doctorate upon; to make a doctor.
  • transitive v. To tamper with and arrange for one's own purposes; to falsify; to adulterate

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. A teacher; an instructor; a learned man; one skilled in a learned profession.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Specifically A person duly licensed to practise medicine; a physician; one whose occupation is to cure diseases.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An auxiliary steam-engine; a donkey-engine.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A translation of a local name in North Africa of the bird Emberiza striolata. See the extract.
  • n. Same as doctor-fish.
  • n. plural False or doctored dice.
  • n. In some American universities, a degree superior to that of master of arts. Abbreviated Ph. D. See above, 2.
  • n. In angling, a name applied to several artificial flies: as, the blue doctor, the silver doctor, etc.
  • n. A boiler feed-pump such as has been preferred on the western rivers of the United States.
  • n. The cook of a merchant vessel; also, the cook of a lumber-camp.

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

  • v. restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken
  • n. a licensed medical practitioner
  • n. a person who holds Ph.D. degree (or the equivalent) from an academic institution
  • n. (Roman Catholic Church) a title conferred on 33 saints who distinguished themselves through the orthodoxy of their theological teaching
  • n. children take the roles of physician or patient or nurse and pretend they are at the physician's office
  • v. give medical treatment to
  • v. alter and make impure, as with the intention to deceive


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.

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")).


  • 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

  • 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

  • Good day Dr. Reimes, she said when they passed, the word doctor spat out in acidic irony.

    Tours of the Black Clock

  • HARWE: People need to know that when you're using the title doctor, is it a medical degree?

    CNN Transcript Jun 25, 2008

  • The unnamed person saying he ` s not a licensed person in California and has no right to counsel Britney or use the term doctor unless he ` s licensed to do so.

    CNN Transcript Jan 17, 2008

  • However, the use of the title doctor in a health care setting is virtually synonymous with physician.

    NYT > Home Page


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  • Exactly.

    July 15, 2008

  • Doctor... Doctor who?

    July 15, 2008

  • "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

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

    January 27, 2007