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[fi-zish-uh n] /fɪˈzɪʃ ən/
a person who is legally qualified to practice medicine; doctor of medicine.
a person engaged in general medical practice, as distinguished from one specializing in surgery.
a person who is skilled in the art of healing.
Origin of physician
1175-1225; physic + -ian (see -ician); replacing Middle English fisicien < Old French
Related forms
physicianly, adjective
Can be confused
doctor, physician. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for physician
  • Another provision in the bill will expose relationships between physician researchers and the medical industry.
  • Thornton, who had been trained as a physician but was now trying his hand at architecture, seemed unaware of the oppressive heat.
  • Peel is a practising physician and national expert on medical privacy.
  • He trained to be a physician, but his curiosity led him into a job doing basic research.
  • Medical officer, physician: public health leadership.
  • It is clear today that the public is searching for a humanistic physician.
  • His role as journalist and physician have sometimes overlapped.
  • It's more or less impossible to define hysteria in a way that a physician today would find acceptable.
  • One early physician likened it to trying to rub one's head and stomach simultaneously.
  • In medicine, many important scientific questions originate in the mind of the insightful physician at the bedside.
British Dictionary definitions for physician


a person legally qualified to practise medicine, esp one specializing in areas of treatment other than surgery; doctor of medicine
(archaic) any person who treats diseases; healer
Word Origin
C13: from Old French fisicien, from fisiquephysic
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 physician

early 13c., fisicien "a healer, a medical practitioner," from Old French fisiciien "physician, doctor, sage" (12c., Modern French physicien means "physicist"), from fisique "art of healing," from Latin physica "natural science" (see physic). Distinguished from surgeon from c.1400. The ph- spelling attested from late 14c. (see ph).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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physician in Medicine

physician phy·si·cian (fĭ-zĭsh'ən)
Abbr. phys.

  1. Abbr. phys. A person licensed to practice medicine; a medical doctor.

  2. A person who practices general medicine as distinct from surgery.

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

Asa, afflicted with some bodily malady, "sought not to the Lord but to the physicians" (2 Chr. 16:12). The "physicians" were those who "practised heathen arts of magic, disavowing recognized methods of cure, and dissociating the healing art from dependence on the God of Israel. The sin of Asa was not, therefore, in seeking medical advice, as we understand the phrase, but in forgetting Jehovah."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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