The art or science or whatever of healing. Penicillin for strep throat and morphine for the dying cancer patient and sometimes hearing the heartbreaks of life. Somewhere between the cool, sterile lab and the spirit of the witch doctor or the faith healer lies today's doctor—yes, and then there is the money, the hours, on-call, training and all that.

Med"i*cine (?), n. [L. medicina (sc. ars), fr. medicinus medical, fr. medicus: cf. F. médecine. See Medical.]

1.

The science which relates to the prevention, cure, or alleviation of disease.

2.

Any substance administered in the treatment of disease; a remedial agent; a remedy; physic.

By medicine, life may be prolonged.
Shak.

3.

A philter or love potion. [Obs.] Shak.

4. [F. médecin.]

A physician. [Obs.] Shak.

Medicine bag, a charm; -- so called among the North American Indians, or in works relating to them. --
Medicine man (among the North American Indians), a person who professes to cure sickness, drive away evil spirits, and regulate the weather by the arts of magic. --
Medicine seal, a small gem or paste engraved with reversed characters, to serve as a seal. Such seals were used by Roman physicians to stamp the names of their medicines.

 

© Webster 1913


Med"i*cine, v. t.

To give medicine to; to affect as a medicine does; to remedy; to cure. "Medicine thee to that sweet sleep." Shak.

 

© Webster 1913


Med"i*cine, n.

1.

(a)

Among the North American Indians, any object supposed to give control over natural or magical forces, to act as a protective charm, or to cause healing; also, magical power itself; the potency which a charm, token, or rite is supposed to exert.

The North American Indian boy usually took as his medicine the first animal of which he dreamed during the long and solitary fast that he observed at puberty.
F. H. Giddings.

(b)

Hence, a similar object or agency among other savages.

2.

Short for Medicine man.

3.

Intoxicating liquor; drink. [Slang]

 

© Webster 1913

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