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Alternative formsEdit


Middle English fysike, from Old French fisike (natural science, art of healing), from Latin physica (study of nature), from Ancient Greek φυσικός (phusikós, natural)


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physic (comparative more physic, superlative most physic)

  1. Relating to or concerning existent materials; physical.


physic (countable and uncountable, plural physics)

  1. (archaic, countable) A medicine or drug, especially a cathartic or purgative.
  2. (archaic, uncountable) The art or profession of healing disease; medicine.
  3. (archaic, uncountable) Natural philosophy; physics.
  4. (obsolete) A physician.

Derived termsEdit


physic (third-person singular simple present physics, present participle physicking, simple past and past participle physicked)

  1. (transitive) To cure or heal.
    • 1637, Tho[mas] Heywood, “Ivpiter and Io”, in Pleasant Dialogves and Dramma’s, Selected ovt of Lucian, Erasmus, Textor, Ovid, &c. [], London: Printed by R. O[ulton] for R. H[earne], and are to be sold by Thomas Slater [], OCLC 5060642, page 170:
      Wouldſt thou not haue ſome Bulchin from the herd / To phyſicke thee of this venereall itch?
  2. (transitive) To administer medicine to, especially a purgative.