a person formally educated and trained in the care of the sick or infirm. Compare nurse-midwife, nurse-practitioner, physician's assistant, practical nurse, registered nurse.
a woman who has the general care of a child or children; dry nurse.
a woman employed to suckle an infant; wet nurse.
any fostering agency or influence.
Entomology. a worker that attends the young in a colony of social insects.
Billiards. the act of maintaining the position of billiard balls in preparation for a carom.
verb (used with object), nursed, nursing.
to tend or minister to in sickness, infirmity, etc.
to try to cure (an ailment) by taking care of oneself: to nurse a cold.
to look after carefully so as to promote growth, development, etc.; foster; cherish: to nurse one's meager talents.
to treat or handle with adroit care in order to further one's own interests: to nurse one's nest egg.
to use, consume, or dispense very slowly or carefully: He nursed the one drink all evening.
to keep steadily in mind or memory: He nursed a grudge against me all the rest of his life.
to suckle (an infant).
to feed and tend in infancy.
to bring up, train, or nurture.
to clasp or handle carefully or fondly: to nurse a plate of food on one's lap.
Billiards. to maintain the position of (billiard balls) for a series of caroms.
verb (used without object), nursed, nursing.
to suckle a child, especially one's own.
(of a child) to suckle: The child did not nurse after he was three months old.
to act as nurse; tend the sick or infirm.

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English, variant of n(o)urice, norice < Old French < Late Latin nūtrīcia, noun use of feminine of Latin nūtrīcius nutritious; (v.) earlier nursh (reduced form of nourish), assimilated to the noun

nonnursing, adjective
overnurse, verb (used with object), overnursed, overnursing.
undernurse, noun
well-nursed, adjective

9. encourage, abet, help, aid, back. 14. rear, raise. Nurse, nourish, nurture may be used almost interchangeably to refer to bringing up the young. Nurse however, suggests attendance and service; nourish emphasizes providing whatever is needful for development; and nurture suggests tenderness and solicitude in training mind and manners.

7, 9. neglect. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nurse (nɜːs)
1.  a person who tends the sick, injured, or infirm
2.  short for nursemaid
3.  a woman employed to breast-feed another woman's child; wet nurse
4.  a worker in a colony of social insects that takes care of the larvae
5.  (also intr) to tend (the sick)
6.  (also intr) to feed (a baby) at the breast; suckle
7.  to try to cure (an ailment)
8.  to clasp carefully or fondly: she nursed the crying child in her arms
9.  (also intr) (of a baby) to suckle at the breast (of)
10.  to look after (a child) as one's employment
11.  to attend to carefully; foster, cherish: he nursed the magazine through its first year; having a very small majority he nursed the constituency diligently
12.  to harbour; preserve: to nurse a grudge
13.  billiards to keep (the balls) together for a series of cannons
[C16: from earlier norice, Old French nourice, from Late Latin nūtrīcia nurse, from Latin nūtrīcius nourishing, from nūtrīre to nourish]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

12c., nurrice "wet nurse, foster-mother to a young child," from O.Fr. norrice (source of proper name Norris), from L.L. *nutricia "nurse, governess, tutoress," from L., fem. of nutricius "that suckles, nourishes," from nutrix (gen. nutricis) "wet nurse," from nutrire "to suckle" (see
nourish). Meaning "person who takes care of sick" first recorded in Eng. 1590; the verb is first attested 1535 in sense of "to suckle (an infant)," 1526 in the passive sense, alt. of M.E. nurshen (13c.; see nourish), originally "to bring up or suckle a child," sense of "take care of (a sick person)" is first recorded 1736.

"dog fish, shark," 1499, of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

nurse (nûrs)

  1. A person trained to care for the sick or disabled, especially one educated in the scientific basis of human response to health problems and trained to assist a physician.

  2. A wet nurse.

  3. An individual who cares for an infant or young child.

v. nursed, nurs·ing, nurs·es
  1. To serve as a nurse.

  2. To provide or take nourishment from the breast; suckle.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences for nurses
However, it highlighted the work of women who served as army nurses.
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