/nerrs/, n., v., nursed, nursing.1. a person formally educated and trained in the care of the sick or infirm. Cf. nurse-midwife, nurse-practitioner, physician's assistant, practical nurse, registered nurse.2. a woman who has the general care of a child or children; dry nurse.3. a woman employed to suckle an infant; wet nurse.4. any fostering agency or influence.5. Entomol. a worker that attends the young in a colony of social insects.6. Billiards. the act of maintaining the position of billiard balls in preparation for a carom.v.t.7. to tend or minister to in sickness, infirmity, etc.8. to try to cure (an ailment) by taking care of oneself: to nurse a cold.9. to look after carefully so as to promote growth, development, etc.; foster; cherish: to nurse one's meager talents.10. to treat or handle with adroit care in order to further one's own interests: to nurse one's nest egg.11. to use, consume, or dispense very slowly or carefully: He nursed the one drink all evening.12. to keep steadily in mind or memory: He nursed a grudge against me all the rest of his life.13. to suckle (an infant).14. to feed and tend in infancy.15. to bring up, train, or nurture.16. to clasp or handle carefully or fondly: to nurse a plate of food on one's lap.17. Billiards. to maintain the position of (billiard balls) for a series of caroms.v.i.18. to suckle a child, esp. one's own.19. (of a child) to suckle: The child did not nurse after he was three months old.20. to act as nurse; tend the sick or infirm.[1350-1400; (n.) ME, var. of n(o)urice, norice < OF < LL nutricia, n. use of fem. of L nutricius NUTRITIOUS; (v.) earlier nursh (reduced form of NOURISH), assimilated to the n.]Syn. 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.Ant. 7, 9. neglect.
* * *person who is skilled or trained in nursing (q.v.).
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