Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To set down as a rule, law, or direction.
  • intransitive verb To order the use of (a medicine or other treatment).
  • intransitive verb To establish rules, laws, or directions.
  • intransitive verb To order a medicine or other treatment.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To inscribe beforehand or in front.
  • To lay down beforehand, in writing or otherwise, as a rule of action; ordain; appoint; define authoritatively.
  • Specifically, to advise, appoint, or designate as a remedy for disease.
  • In law, to render invalid through lapse of time or negative prescription.
  • Synonyms To order, command, dictate, institute, establish.
  • To set rules; lay down the law; dictate.
  • To give medical directions; designate the remedies to be used: as, to prescribe for a patient in a fever.
  • In law: To claim by prescription; claim a title to a thing by immemorial use and enjoyment: with for: as, to prescribe for a right of way, of common, or the like
  • To become extinguished or of no validity through lapse of time, as a right, debt, obligation, and the like. See prescription

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

  • intransitive verb To give directions; to dictate.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To influence by long use.
  • intransitive verb (Med.) To write or to give medical directions; to indicate remedies; as, to prescribe for a patient in a fever.
  • intransitive verb (Law) To claim by prescription; to claim a title to a thing on the ground of immemorial use and enjoyment, that is, by a custom having the force of law.
  • transitive verb To lay down authoritatively as a guide, direction, or rule of action; to impose as a peremptory order; to dictate; to appoint; to direct.
  • transitive verb (Med.) To direct, as a remedy to be used by a patient; as, the doctor prescribed quinine.

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

  • verb To order (a drug or medical device) for use by a particular patient.
  • verb To specify as a required procedure or ritual.

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

  • verb issue commands or orders for

Etymologies

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

[Middle English prescriben, from Latin praescrībere : prae-, pre- + scrībere, to write; see skrībh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin praescribere, from prae ("before") and scribere ("to write").

Examples

  • Forbidding the critic to prescribe is itself a prescription.

    There's No Prescribing Prescriptivism

  • Forbidding the critic to prescribe is itself a prescription.

    More on Critique

  • Forbidding the critic to prescribe is itself a prescription.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • In practice, few care labels prescribe vigorous laundering for table linens.

    HOME COMFORTS

  • In practice, few care labels prescribe vigorous laundering for table linens.

    HOME COMFORTS

  • In practice, few care labels prescribe vigorous laundering for table linens.

    HOME COMFORTS

  • In practice, few care labels prescribe vigorous laundering for table linens.

    HOME COMFORTS

  • Okada bowed low -- as low as the rules of Japanese etiquette prescribe, which is to say that he bent himself almost double.

    The Pride of Palomar

  • Before its adoption, the Constitution of the United States did not in terms prescribe who should be citizens of the United States or of the several States, yet there were necessarily such citizens without such provision.

    History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II

  • For example, if you have allergies, your doctor might "prescribe" over-the-counter Claritin.

    Big Changes Coming To Your Medical FSA

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