English edit

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A pharmacy counter.

Etymology edit

From Middle English pharmacy, borrowed from Middle French pharmacie (the art of creating drugs; a drug, especially a laxative), from Old French farmacie, from Medieval Latin pharmacia, from Ancient Greek φαρμακεία (pharmakeía, the use of drugs), from φάρμακον (phármakon, a drug, charm, enchantment), of uncertain but likely Pre-Greek origin. Attested since late 14th century.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

pharmacy (countable and uncountable, plural pharmacies)

  1. (countable) A place where prescription drugs are sold or dispensed.
  2. (uncountable) The science of medicinal substances, inclusive of pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology, phytochemistry, and forensics.
  3. (uncountable) The role or occupation of a pharmacist.

Usage notes edit

The American drugstore and British and Commonwealth chemist's are more common when referencing a small shop, especially when it is run as a general store that sells food and other goods as well as medicines. The pharmacies operated within hospitals that dispense medicine without acting as a point of sale are sometimes distinguished as dispensaries.

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