- 1[transitive] nurse somebody to care for somebody who is ill/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. He was nursed back to health by his devoted servant.
- 2[transitive] nurse something to take care of an injury or illness Several weeks after the match, he was still nursing a shoulder injury. You'd better go to bed and nurse that cold. (figurative) She was nursing her hurt pride. CollocationsIllnessesBecoming ill catch a cold/an infectious disease/the flu/(British English) flu/pneumonia/a virus/(informal) a bug get (British English) ill/(North American English) sick/a disease/AIDS/breast cancer/a cold/the flu/(British English) flu/a migraine come down with a cold/the flu/(British English) flu contract a deadly disease/a serious illness/HIV/AIDS be infected with a virus/a parasite/HIV develop cancer/diabetes/a rash/an ulcer/symptoms of hepatitis have a heart attack/a stroke provoke/trigger/produce an allergic reaction block/burst/rupture a blood vessel damage/sever a nerve/an artery/a tendonBeing ill feel (British English) ill/sick/nauseous/queasy be running (British English) a temperature/(North American English) a fever have a head cold/diabetes/heart disease/lung cancer/a headache/(British English) a high temperature/(North American English) a fever suffer from asthma/malnutrition/frequent headaches/bouts of depression/a mental disorder be laid up with/ (British English) be in bed with a cold/the flu/(British English) flu/a migraine nurse a cold/a headache/a hangover battle/fight cancer/depression/addiction/alcoholismTreatments examine a patient diagnose a condition/disease/disorder be diagnosed with cancer/diabetes/schizophrenia prescribe/be given/be on/take drugs/medicine/medication/pills/painkillers/antibiotics treat somebody for cancer/depression/shock have/undergo an examination/an operation/surgery/a kidney transplant/therapy/chemotherapy/treatment for cancer have/be given an injection/(British English) a flu jab/(North American English) a flu shot/a blood transfusion/a scan/an X-ray cure a disease/an ailment/cancer/a headache/a patient prevent the spread of disease/further outbreaks/damage to the lungs be vaccinated against the flu/(British English) flu/the measles/(British English) measles/polio/smallpox enhance/boost/confer/build immunity to a disease
- 3[transitive] nurse something (formal) to have a strong feeling or idea in your mind for a long time synonym harbour 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 somebody/something to nurse tender young plants He nursed the car up the steep hill.
- 5[transitive] nurse somebody/something to hold somebody/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 Word Origin late Middle English: contraction of earlier nourice, from Old French, from late Latin nutricia, feminine of Latin nutricius
BrE BrE//nɜːs//; NAmE NAmE//nɜːrs//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they nurse
BrE BrE//nɜːs//; NAmE NAmE//nɜːrs//he / she / it nurses
BrE BrE//ˈnɜːsɪz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈnɜːrsɪz//past simple nursed
BrE BrE//nɜːst//; NAmE NAmE//nɜːrst//past participle nursed
BrE BrE//nɜːst//; NAmE NAmE//nɜːrst//-ing form nursing
BrE BrE//ˈnɜːsɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈnɜːrsɪŋ//