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


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

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Variant form of the archaic nourice, from Old French norrice, from Latin nutricius ("that nourishes"), from nutrix ("wet nurse"), from nutrire ("to suckle").



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