What does prescribe mean?

Definitions for prescribe

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word prescribe.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. order, prescribe, dictateverb

    issue commands or orders for


  1. prescribeverb

    To order (a drug or medical device) for use by a particular patient.

  2. prescribeverb

    To specify as a required procedure or ritual.

  3. Etymology: From praescribere, from prae and scribere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To PRESCRIBEverb

    Etymology: præscribo, Lat.

    Doth the strength of some negative arguments prove this kind of negative argument strong, by force whereof all things are denied, which scripture affirmeth not, or all things, which scripture prescribeth not, condemned. Richard Hooker.

    To the blanc moon her office they prescrib’d. John Milton.

    There’s joy, when to wild will you laws prescribe,
    When you bid fortune carry back her bribe. Dryden.

    When parents loves are order’d by a son,
    Let streams prescribe their fountains where to run. Dryden.

    The end of satire is the amendment of vices by correction; and he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies. Dryden.

    The extremest ways they first ordain,
    Prescribing such intolerable pain,
    As none but Cæsar could sustain. Dryden.

    By a short account of the pressing obligations which lie on the magistrate, I shall not so much prescribe directions for the future, as praise what is past. Francis Atterbury.

    Should any man argue, that a physician understands his own art best; and therefore, although he should prescribe poison to all his patients, he cannot be justly punished, but is answerable only to God. Jonathan Swift.

  2. To Prescribeverb

    A reserve of puerility we have not shaken off from school, where being seasoned with minor sentences, they prescribe upon our riper years, and never are worn out but with our memories. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    The assuming an authority of dictating to others, and a forwardness to prescribe to their opinions, is a constant concomitant of this biass of our judgments. John Locke.

    That obligation upon the lands did not prescribe or come into disuse, but by fifty consecutive years of exemption. Arb.

    Modern ’pothecaries, taught the art
    By doctor’s bills to play the doctor’s part,
    Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,
    Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools. Alexander Pope.


  1. prescribe

    To prescribe is to officially instruct or recommend a course of action or treatment, typically related to medicine, health, or law. It can also refer to establishing a rule, guideline, or direction to be followed. It often involves an authoritative figure, such as a doctor or a professional, providing advice or direction based on their expertise.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Prescribeverb

    to lay down authoritatively as a guide, direction, or rule of action; to impose as a peremptory order; to dictate; to appoint; to direct

  2. Prescribeverb

    to direct, as a remedy to be used by a patient; as, the doctor prescribed quinine

  3. Prescribeverb

    to give directions; to dictate

  4. Prescribeverb

    to influence by long use

  5. Prescribeverb

    to write or to give medical directions; to indicate remedies; as, to prescribe for a patient in a fever

  6. Prescribeverb

    to claim by prescription; to claim a title to a thing on the ground of immemorial use and enjoyment, that is, by a custom having the force of law

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prescribe

    prē-skrīb′, v.t. to lay down as a rule or direction: to give as an order: to appoint: (med.) to give directions for, as a remedy: to render useless or invalid through lapse of time.—v.i. to lay down rules: to claim on account of long possession: to become of no force through time.—ns. Prēscrib′er; Prē′script, something prescribed: direction: model prescribed; Prēscriptibil′ity.—adj. Prēscrip′tible, that may be prescribed.—n. Prēscrip′tion, act of prescribing or directing: (med.) a written direction for the preparation of a medicine: a recipe: (law) custom continued until it becomes a right or has the force of law.—adj. Prēscrip′tive, consisting in, or acquired by, custom or long-continued use: customary.—Prescriptive title, a title established by right of prescription. [L. præscribĕre, -scriptumpræ, before, scribĕre, to write.]

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British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prescribe' in Verbs Frequency: #962

How to pronounce prescribe?

How to say prescribe in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prescribe in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prescribe in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of prescribe in a Sentence

  1. Scott Hadland:

    It's in these areas where many hospitals and doctors are located, and in some cases, where many patients are insured, it makes sense that opioid marketing would be concentrated in areas where doctors can prescribe and where people have insurance to help them purchase medications.

  2. Robert F. Kennedy:

    The free way of life proposes ends, but it does not prescribe means.

  3. Leah Litman:

    It’s not clear that the latest FDA move means that states couldn’t enforce different abortion restrictions against doctors who prescribe medication abortion, or pharmacists who fulfill prescriptions, or people who take medication abortion to induce an abortion.

  4. Cliodna McNulty:

    Trust Lauri Hicks GP or nurse to prescribe antibiotics when Lauri Hicks need them. Do ask them to share information with Lauri Hicks about how Lauri Hicks can self-care, how long the symptoms should last and when Lauri Hicks should return( if symptoms are not improving or Lauri Hicks are feeling worse).

  5. Peter Schwartz:

    Without these rules in place, it would be much riskier to prescribe opioids.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for prescribe

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • وصفArabic
  • předepsatCzech
  • verschreiben, verordnen, vorschreibenGerman
  • prescribir, recetarSpanish
  • määrätä, säätääFinnish
  • prescrire, ordonnerFrench
  • előír, felírHungarian
  • menentukanIndonesian
  • 処方, 規定Japanese
  • tūtohu, tūtohiMāori
  • voorschrijvenDutch
  • ordenar, receitar, prescreverPortuguese
  • prescrieRomanian
  • назначать, предписать, устанавливать, назначить, прописывать, установить, предписывать, прописатьRussian
  • förskriva, skriva ut, ordineraSwedish

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"prescribe." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/prescribe>.

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    a deliberately offensive act or something producing the effect of deliberate disrespect
    A denudate
    B transpire
    C efface
    D affront

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