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[hee-ling] /ˈhi lɪŋ/
curing or curative; prescribed or helping to heal.
growing sound; getting well; mending.
the act or process of regaining health:
a new drug to accelerate healing.
Origin of healing
before 1000; Middle English heelyng (adj.), helynge (noun), Old English hǣlinge (noun). See heal, -ing2, -ing1
Related forms
healingly, adverb
self-healing, adjective
unhealing, adjective


[heel] /hil/
verb (used with object)
to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment.
to bring to an end or conclusion, as conflicts between people or groups, usually with the strong implication of restoring former amity; settle; reconcile:
They tried to heal the rift between them but were unsuccessful.
to free from evil; cleanse; purify:
to heal the soul.
verb (used without object)
to effect a cure.
(of a wound, broken bone, etc.) to become whole or sound; mend; get well (often followed by up or over).
before 900; Middle English helen, Old English hǣlan (cognate with Dutch helen, German heilen, Old Norse heila, Gothic hailjan), derivative of hāl hale1, whole
Related forms
healable, adjective
half-healed, adjective
preheal, verb (used with object)
unhealable, adjective
unhealed, adjective
well-healed, adjective
Can be confused
heal, heel, he'll.
1. See cure. 2. compose, soothe. 3. purge, disinfect.
1, 2. irritate. 3. soil, infect. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for healing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If there exists such a thing as the "gift of healing," Greatrakes appears to have possessed it.

  • In the forest is found the copaiba-tree, producing a healing liquid.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • Such in the days of old were the shrines, whither pilgrims travelled for the healing of their souls.

    A Son of Perdition Fergus Hume
  • A physician can't heal the sick unless there's healing in his own soul.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • Through wellnigh three centuries, the gifts of healing appear to have been, more or less, recognized and exercised in the Church.

    Christian Science Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
British Dictionary definitions for healing


to restore or be restored to health
(intransitive; often foll by over or up) (of a wound, burn, etc) to repair by natural processes, as by scar formation
  1. to treat (a wound, etc) by assisting in its natural repair
  2. to cure (a disease or disorder)
to restore or be restored to friendly relations, harmony, etc
Derived Forms
healable, adjective
healer, noun
healing, noun, adjective
Word Origin
Old English hælan; related to Old Norse heila, Gothic hailjan, Old High German heilen; see hale1, whole
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for healing

"restoration to health," Old English hæling; see heal. Figurative sense of "restoration of wholeness" is from early 13c.; meaning "touch that cures" is from 1670s.



Old English hælan "cure; save; make whole, sound and well," from Proto-Germanic *hailjan (cf. Old Saxon helian, Old Norse heila, Old Frisian hela, Dutch helen, German heilen, Gothic ga-hailjan "to heal, cure"), literally "to make whole" (see health). Related: Healed; healing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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healing in Medicine

heal (hēl)
v. healed, heal·ing, heals

  1. To restore to health or soundness; cure.

  2. To become well; return to sound health.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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