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1. A person trained to provide medical care for the sick or disabled, especially one who is licensed and works in a hospital or physician's office.
a. A person employed to take care of a young child.
b. A woman employed to suckle children other than her own; a wet nurse.
3. One that serves as a nurturing or fostering influence or means: "Town life is the nurse of civilization" (C.L.R. James).
4. Zoology A worker ant or bee that feeds and cares for the colony's young.
v. nursed, nurs·ing, nurs·es
1. To serve as a nurse for: nursed the patient back to health.
2. To cause or allow to take milk from the breast or teat: a mother nursing her baby; whales nursing their young.
3. To try to cure by special care or treatment: nurse a cough with various remedies.
4. To treat carefully, especially in order to prevent pain: He nursed his injured knee by shifting his weight to the other leg.
5. To manage or guide carefully; look after with care; foster: nursed her business through the depression. See Synonyms at nurture.
6. To bear privately in the mind: nursing a grudge.
7. To consume slowly, especially in order to conserve: nursed one drink all evening.
1. To serve as a nurse.
a. To take milk from the breast or teat; suckle: The baby is nursing. Puppies nurse for a few weeks.
b. To feed an offspring from the breast or teat: a mother who's nursing; what to feed cows when they're nursing.

[Middle English norice, nurse, wet nurse, from Old French norrice, from Vulgar Latin *nutrīcia, from Late Latin nūtrīcia, from feminine of Latin nūtrīcius, that suckles, from nūtrīx, nūtrīc-, wet nurse; see (s)nāu- in Indo-European roots.]

nurs′er n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.nursed - (of an infant) breast-fed
breast-fed - (of an infant) fed milk from the mother's breast
References in periodicals archive ?
21) During 1874 alone the Home housed one hundred women, almost all "utterly homeless and friendless," who wet nursed infants.
The harsh relationship between wet nurses and the mothers who employed them sheds light, not only on upper- and middle-class attitudes toward the poverty-stricken, immigrant women who worked as servants, but on upper- and middle-class perceptions of women who nursed babies.
In 1917 Fritz Talbot concurred with Holt, pointing out that women in Japan and other countries routinely nursed their babies for 3 to 4 years with no iii effect.