Definition of doctor in English:



  • 1A qualified practitioner of medicine; a physician.

    • ‘You should talk to your child's doctor if your child experiences these side effects.’
    • ‘To make a diagnosis of brain death, doctors conduct required medical tests.’
    • ‘Ask your private doctor or hospital clinic physician for information as to how you can obtain a bone density test.’
    • ‘Five ambulances, 15 medical personnel, two doctors and paramedics were on stand-by.’
    • ‘You might feel more comfortable in a hospital or nursing home with doctors and nurses nearby at all times.’
    • ‘Although she went to several doctors and hospital emergency rooms, no one could explain what was happening.’
    • ‘These patients are treated by primary care doctors in outpatient clinics.’
    • ‘Any woman who is worried about this should speak to her doctor, midwife or obstetrician.’
    • ‘Most patients are seen and treated by primary care doctors, who may be unfamiliar with the condition.’
    • ‘For the next two and a half days, the boy remained in the intensive care ward while doctors, nurses and medics helped him recover.’
    • ‘Point out that depression is a medical condition that doctors can effectively treat.’
    • ‘Psychiatrists are qualified doctors who have specialist training in treating mental health problems.’
    • ‘Second, there are medical malpractice claims against doctors and hospitals.’
    • ‘Contraception is normally supplied by your doctor or by the family planning clinic.’
    • ‘It had resulted in asthma being the most common chronic illness treated by doctors in general practice.’
    • ‘MAO inhibitors are commonly prescribed by medical doctors to treat depression.’
    • ‘Anaesthetists are medical doctors who specialise in the field of anaesthesia.’
    • ‘I recently injured my back playing hockey, and my doctor prescribed physical therapy.’
    • ‘The amendment was designed to control the sale of illegitimate products invented by quack doctors.’
    • ‘Her family doctor prescribed a drug that helped, but it made her tired.’
    physician, medical practitioner, medical man, medical woman, clinician, doctor of medicine, md
    doc, medic, medico, quack
    leech, sawbones
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1North American A qualified dentist or veterinary surgeon.
      • ‘Mahouts and sometimes, veterinary doctor have to accompany the jumbos if they are given on hire for long hours.’
      • ‘My cat needs me to feed her, take her to the doctor, and open the door for her.’
      • ‘Veterinary doctors and other competent personnel should be requisitioned for the purpose, at least on a contract basis.’
      • ‘A veterinary doctor by profession, he began his love affair with Nila about 25 years ago.’
      • ‘Then she hired an autorickshaw and took me to a veterinary doctor.’
      • ‘A veterinary doctor attended on her, but the symptoms continued.’
      • ‘So you think you'd like to be a veterinary doctor and you love animals?’
      • ‘I was told, even if the papers from abroad prove inoculations, the dogs have to be checked by a veterinary doctor in the airport.’
      • ‘In the panel were veterinary doctors, elephant owners, mahouts and elephant lovers.’
      • ‘Talk with your doctor before having any dental work done during the course of your treatment.’
      • ‘And like S. Ravindran Nair, retired veterinary doctor, most will stay rooted at home on Sunday.’
    2. 1.2informal [with modifier] A person who gives advice or makes improvements.
      ‘the script doctor rewrote the original’
      • ‘But the thing is, for a script doctor, the best thing in the world is a good idea with a terrible script.’
      • ‘I learnt this as a junior spin doctor for a minor political party.’
      • ‘After directing the film, he hightailed it out to Bali, only to return again to work as a script doctor.’
      • ‘She is a freelance writer, a script doctor and producer, and an award-winning journalist.’
      • ‘The one-liners are as zingfully fresh as only Hollywood's best script doctors can write.’
      • ‘Hit and Runway is indeed like a bunch of hopelessly lost screen cretins looking for a script doctor.’
      • ‘The razor-sharp wit that made Fisher a highly paid Hollywood script doctor is also on display.’
      • ‘I turned to the hair doctor for advice.’
      • ‘It's important to note how badly a script doctor was needed for The Singing Detective.’
      • ‘This movie didn't really need a script doctor - but an acting coach sure wouldn't have hurt..’
      • ‘This is the way he described working as a script doctor vs. writing his own stuff.’
      • ‘So what do the script doctors at SARFT recommend?’
      • ‘In the present crisis, the Tories should not be consulting spin doctors, but historians.’
      • ‘This is the story of New York city date doctor employed by socially-inept men to help orchestrate their first three dates with the women of their dreams.’
      • ‘Storytelling has been abused in Hollywood since producers started consulting script doctors.’
      • ‘What do you think of these high-profile script doctors?’
      • ‘In addition, it is likely uncredited but well-paid script doctors were drafted in to rewrite certain scenes.’
      • ‘Nowadays it often seems as if studios employ script doctors not to remove four-letter words but to add them.’
      • ‘Money is wasted on explosions and stunts when it should have been given to a script doctor.’
  • 2A person who holds a doctorate.

    ‘he was made a Doctor of Divinity’
    • ‘He studied in St. Nathy's College, Ballaghaderreen and later graduated as a Doctor of Science.’
    • ‘Last Wednesday, he was made a Doctor of Music at the University of St Andrews.’
    • ‘This week Glasgow Caledonian University is making him an Honorary Doctor of Letters.’
    1. 2.1
      • ‘Local saints are frequently included, as well as figures of general importance, apostles, and doctors of the Church.’
      • ‘It was not until after the Council of Trent that popes began to add new doctors of the church at regular intervals.’
      • ‘Bede was recognized as a doctor of the church by Pope Leo XIII in 1899.’
    2. 2.2archaic A teacher or learned person.
      ‘the wisest doctor is graveled by the inquisitiveness of a child’
      • ‘The learned doctors of the Great Vehicle teach us that the essential characteristic of the universe is its emptiness.’
      educator, tutor, instructor, pedagogue, schoolteacher, schoolmaster, schoolmistress, master, mistress, governess, educationalist, educationist
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  • 3An artificial fishing fly.


  • 1Change the content or appearance of (a document or picture) in order to deceive; falsify.

    ‘the reports could have been doctored’
    • ‘In real life, even models have stretch marks (fashion photos are doctored up).’
    • ‘Murphy's defence team said the notes, drawn up by detectives during the interviews, had been doctored as different types of paper, ink and handwriting appeared among the 54 pages.’
    • ‘We thought that we were the only ones that doctored photos.’
    • ‘To add some visual appeal and an element of authenticity, there were photos doctored appropriately using digital technology.’
    • ‘Since so many of the documents on view are themselves doctored items or spoofs, factuality becomes suspect.’
    • ‘He suggested a senior lecturer had doctored documents for the purpose of an employment tribunal.’
    • ‘Please note that these pictures have not been doctored in any way.’
    • ‘But he didn't tell the therapist the truth, and his lies continued for 10 more days, during which time he delivered a letter, and copies of the doctored files, to his boss.’
    • ‘He doctored the roll-call records to make it seem as if he hadn't deserted.’
    • ‘But the public interest would not be served by people of dubious motives giving false information by doctoring the official record.’
    • ‘One news agency photographer has already been fired for doctoring his photos in Lebanon!’
    • ‘But what if he hadn't been suspected of doctoring his report?’
    • ‘As part of the understanding, any passport suspected to be fake or doctored, is scanned along with the photograph of the applicant and sent to the RPO's office.’
    • ‘Even though everyone knows these images are doctored they are still there.’
    • ‘Signatures were forged, medical records were doctored.’
    • ‘The company claims he doctored documents to cover his tracks.’
    • ‘I got back to London with a huge amount of material - a lot of it had been doctored or falsified.’
    • ‘First they said that pictures showing the bulge might have been doctored.’
    • ‘Instead, they come in to the advisers and pick files at random - a complete waste of time since files can be doctored.’
    falsify, tamper with, tinker with, interfere with, manipulate, massage, rig, alter, change
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    1. 1.1 Alter the content of (a drink, food, or substance) by adding strong or harmful ingredients.
      ‘he denied doctoring Stephen's drinks’
      • ‘Other research extends these findings from doctored drinks to regular food.’
      • ‘The family of the latest victim said they know of at least two other young people who believe their drinks had been doctored in local pubs.’
      • ‘I think that third-world countries can benefit from GM foods, because these doctored foods can provide the nutrients that these deprived people need to stay alive.’
      • ‘You conspiracy theorists can put away your suspicions that the meat is being doctored for cosmetic purposes.’
      • ‘We get hold of some, find a sheep and doctor its food.’
      • ‘Pre-eleven o'clock it's a restaurant serving spicy Asian delicacies a la fish and noodles that might just have been doctored with aphrodisiacs.’
      • ‘Places where men can band together and consume meat are now either heavily policed, or the meat is doctored to lessen its impact.’
      adulterate, contaminate, taint, tamper with, lace, mix, dilute, water down, thin out, weaken
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    2. 1.2Baseball Tamper with (a ball) so as to affect its movement when pitched.
      • ‘He references unsavory baseball aids used through the years - doctored balls, corked bats, amphetamines - and tries to claim them as precursors to steroid use.’
      • ‘Check out what the pitcher said after being accused of doctoring the ball.’
      • ‘He doctored a ball over the course of two weeks by pounding it with a bat, soaking it in soapy water, and finally coating it with white shoe polish to make it look like new.’
      • ‘Ballplayers will try to gain an edge whenever possible whether it's doctoring baseballs, corking bats, or taking an illegal position in the batter's box.’
      • ‘Whether it's pitchers doctoring baseballs, batters corking bats or electricians creating an eye in the sky cheating system, historically, individuals and teams sometimes do whatever is necessary to gain an edge.’
  • 2usually as noun doctoringinformal Treat (someone) medically.

    ‘he contemplated giving up doctoring’
    • ‘His great love, after doctoring, was sailing, mainly off the west coast of Scotland, in almost any weather, in a boat built to his design by his elder brother.’
    • ‘Extensive training is provided for younger or newer staff members - an orientation time for them to learn, to grow and to change the way in which they may have nursed or doctored in the past.’
    • ‘Last night, in the absence of echinacea, I doctored myself with a fiery curry and generous amounts of a rather rough Kentucky bourbon.’
    • ‘The court then brings forth a poor Saxon who was healed by Rebecca's doctoring.’
    • ‘It's much better to let that person be doctored.’
    • ‘In the meantime, she was still doctoring the band when one of its members had a sprained ankle or a cold.’
    • ‘She was soon doctoring his wounds with antiseptic cream.’
    • ‘I have been doctoring this condition for 20-some years with not a lot of success.’
    • ‘This person is not doctoring properly.’
    • ‘Successfully doctoring my wounds, I entered the living room.’
    • ‘She is into the ritual of it carefully taking out her first aid kit, then deciding where to cut, then doctoring up the cut, then watching it heal.’
    • ‘I've had some experience with doctoring because my father was a doctor.’
    • ‘By doctoring themselves, women would be spared the need to reveal embarrassing details to a doctor.’
    • ‘He took them hay from a storm-damaged feed store and doctored injured animals with medicine he had.’
    • ‘Presumably in artistic work, as opposed to lawyering or doctoring, there is a larger element of the unconscious or intuitive.’
    • ‘He'd been doctoring there since the town was founded, so most of the crosses in the graveyard were probably his patients.’
    • ‘Next, Robyn doctored the wounds with medicine that stung.’
    • ‘They should let doctors get on with doctoring and encourage staff to support them.’
    • ‘Carter, who regularly doctored his people, had enormous respect for Nassaw's ability as a physician, for, in truth, Nassaw was one of the finest surgeons in colonial Virginia.’
    • ‘On this day, Sarah also worked for Mr. Riske's son, Edward, who took in sick people for doctoring.’
    treat, medicate, dose, soothe, cure, heal
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    1. 2.1British Remove the sexual organs of (an animal) so that it cannot reproduce.
      • ‘Over the past year, about twice the usual number of cats and dogs were doctored.’
      • ‘Wait until your pet is doctored and feeling more like their cheery, upbeat self.’
    2. 2.2 Repair (a machine)


Middle English (in the senses learned person and Doctor of the Church): via Old French from Latin doctor teacher (from docere teach).