nurse - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlenursing
past tensenursed
past participlenursed
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to look after someone who is ill or injured

    He nursed troops at the general hospital in Riyadh.

    nurse someone back to health (=until they are healthy again):

    His wife nursed him back to health.

    1. a.
      to help someone or something to improve or become more successful
      nurse something back to health:

      Chief executive David Michaels nursed the business back to health.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to help yourself get better after an illness or injury, for example by resting or getting medical treatment

    I took over as captain while she nursed a strained muscle.

    I’m nursing a cold.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to feel a strong emotion or have a belief for a long time, especially one that you hide from other people

    He had nursed a grudge against them for ages.

    Gilford still nurses an ambition to become captain of the team.

  4. 4
    [transitive] if you nurse a drink, you drink it slowly over a period of time

    She stood nursing a cup of tea.

  5. 5
    [transitive] if a woman nurses a baby, she feeds it by letting the baby suck milk from her breasts
    1. a.
      [intransitive] if a baby nurses, it sucks milk from a woman’s breast