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[fiz-ik] /ˈfɪz ɪk/
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.
Origin of physic
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
Can be confused
physic, physique. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for physicked
Historical Examples
  • He physicked indiscriminately, or bled or starved his patients, without paying the slightest regard to their ailments.

    Peter the Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • I knew lords, and physicked them too, when I was a blundering allopathist.

    My Novel, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Concho reasoned, not illogically, that if he were to be physicked at all he ought to get the worth of his money.

    The Story of a Mine Bret Harte
  • If in high condition, the animal must first be bled and physicked.

    Domestic Animals Richard L. Allen
  • That is well said; and, if I were you, I would not suffer him to marry till you have physicked him to your heart's content.

  • But afterwards Dr Jack Granton went back to the hotel and physicked her.

    Sir Hilton's Sin George Manville Fenn
  • The doctors came, physicked but did not bleed him, and yesterday morning he was better.

    The Greville Memoirs (Second Part) Charles C. F. Greville
  • The prescriptions of Dr. Bulleyn, in the reign of Elizabeth, are wonderful examples of how our fathers were physicked.

  • It fell away all at once, though no change was made in the diet; and yet we learn it has been physicked.

    The Dog Dinks, Mayhew, and Hutchinson
  • Were the body politic to be physicked like particular persons, I should venture to prescribe to it after the same manner.

    Isaac Bickerstaff Richard Steele
British Dictionary definitions for physicked


(rare) a medicine or drug, esp a cathartic or purge
(archaic) the art or skill of healing
an archaic term for physics (sense 1)
verb -ics, -icking, -icked
(transitive) (archaic) to treat (a patient) with medicine
Derived Forms
physicky, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French fisique, via Latin, from Greek phusikē, from phusis nature
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 physicked



c.1300, fysike, "art of healing, medical science," also "natural science" (c.1300), from Old French fisike "natural science, art of healing" (12c.) and directly from Latin physica (fem. singular of physicus) "study of nature," from Greek 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 root *bheue- "to be exist, grow" (see be). Spelling with ph- attested from late 14c. (see ph). As a noun, "medicine that acts as a laxative," 1610s. The verb meaning "to dose with medicine" is attested from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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physicked in Medicine

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

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