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a medicine that purges; cathartic; laxative.
any medicine; a drug or medicament.
Archaic. the medical art or profession.
Obsolete, natural science.
verb (used with object), physicked, physicking.
to treat with or act upon as a physic or medicine.
to work upon as a medicine does; relieve or cure.

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English fisyk(e), phisik(e) (< Old French fisique) < Latin physica natural science (Medieval Latin: medical science) < Greek physikḗ science of nature, noun use of feminine adj.: pertaining to nature (akin to phŷlon tribe, phylon); (v.) Middle English, derivative of the noun

physic, physique.
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World English Dictionary
physic (ˈfɪzɪk)
1.  rare a medicine or drug, esp a cathartic or purge
2.  archaic the art or skill of healing
3.  an archaic term for physics
vb , -ics, -icking, -icked
4.  archaic (tr) to treat (a patient) with medicine
[C13: from Old French fisique, via Latin, from Greek phusikē, from phusis nature]

physics (ˈfɪzɪks)
1.  the branch of science concerned with the properties of matter and energy and the relationships between them. It is based on mathematics and traditionally includes mechanics, optics, electricity and magnetism, acoustics, and heat. Modern physics, based on quantum theory, includes atomic, nuclear, particle, and solid-state studies. It can also embrace applied fields such as geophysics and meteorology
2.  physical properties of behaviour: the physics of the electron
3.  archaic natural science or natural philosophy
[C16: from Latin physica, translation of Greek ta phusika natural things, from phusis nature]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "art of healing, medical science," also "natural science" (c.1300), from O.Fr. fisike "natural science, art of healing" (12c.), from L. physica (fem. sing.) "study of nature," from Gk. physike episteme "knowledge of nature," from fem. of physikos "pertaining to nature," from physis "nature,"
from phyein "to bring forth, produce, make to grow" (cf. phyton "growth, plant," phyle "tribe, race," phyma "a growth, tumor") from PIE base *bheu- "to be exist, grow" (cf. O.E. beon "to be," see be). Especially in Gk. ta physika, lit. "the natural things," name of Aristotle's treatise on nature. The verb meaning "to dose with medicine" is attested from late 14c.

1580s, "natural science," from physic in sense of "natural science." Also see -ics. Specific sense of "science treating of properties of matter and energy" is from 1715. Physicist coined 1840 by the Rev. William Whewell (17941866), Eng. polymath,
to denote a "cultivator of physics" as opposed to a physician.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

physic phys·ic (fĭz'ĭk)
A medicine or drug, especially a cathartic.

physics phys·ics (fĭz'ĭks)

  1. Abbr. phys. The science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two, grouped in traditional fields such as acoustics, optics, mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism, as well as in modern extensions including atomic and nuclear physics, cryogenics, solid-state physics, particle physics, and plasma physics.

  2. Physical properties, interactions, processes, or laws.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
physics   (fĭz'ĭks)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The scientific study of matter, energy, space, and time, and of the relations between them.

  2. The behavior of a given physical system, especially as understood by a physical theory.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

physics definition

The scientific study of matter and motion. (See mechanics, optics, quantum mechanics, relativity, and thermodynamics.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
And inquiries into nature have the best result, when they begin with physics
  and end in mathematics.
His strength was in theoretical physics, but he was being forced to sit in a
  laboratory making thin films of beryllium.
The power of a tsunami comes from straightforward physics.
When the economy was about stuff, economics resembled physics.
Images for Physics
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