American English

Definition of nurse verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they nurse
    he / she / it nurses
    past simple nursed
    -ing form nursing
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  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 7[intransitive] (of a baby) to suck milk from its mother's breast synonym suckle
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: nurse