- 1 [transitive] nurse somebody to care for someone who is sick or injured He worked in a hospital for ten years, nursing cancer patients. She nursed her daughter back to health. She nursed her husband devotedly through his last illness.
- 2 [transitive] nurse something to take care of an injury or illness Several weeks after the game, he was still nursing a shoulder injury. You'd better go to bed and nurse that cold. (figurative) She was nursing her hurt pride.
- 3 [transitive] nurse something (formal) to have a strong feeling or idea in your mind for a long time synonym harbor to nurse an ambition/a grievance/a grudge She had been nursing a secret desire to see him again.
- 4[transitive] nurse something to give special care or attention to something to nurse tender young plants He nursed the car up the steep hill.
- 5[transitive] nurse somebody/something to hold someone or something carefully in your arms or close to your body He sat nursing his cup of coffee.
- 6[intransitive, transitive] (of a woman or female animal) to feed a baby with milk from the breast synonym suckle a nursing mother nurse somebody/something The lioness is still nursing her cubs. compare breastfeed
- 7[intransitive] (of a baby) to suck milk from its mother's breast synonym suckle
NAmE//nərs//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they nurse
he / she / it nurses
past simple nursed
-ing form nursing