Definition of medicate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Administer medicine or a drug to (someone)

    ‘both infants were heavily medicated to alleviate their seizures’
    • ‘Elaine is being heavily medicated, and seems in a deeply unconscious state.’
    • ‘He is highly medicated as the result of a childhood trauma.’
    • ‘Anticipate pain and medicate the patient before turning or repositioning.’
    • ‘While there for a little more than a year, he was heavily medicated with barbiturates and underwent numerous electro-convulsive treatments.’
    • ‘For a time he was forcibly medicated, but for the past several years he has taken his drugs voluntarily.’
    • ‘He is heavily medicated and his jumpy behaviour has caused most inmates to stay away from him.’
    • ‘She was medicated and told that if she took the medication as directed she would never have one again.’
    • ‘My dream journal started in July 1999 when I was heavily medicated and having some real crackers that I wanted to record for prosperity.’
    • ‘Contacting physicians and obtaining orders to medicate patients for pain in a timely manner frequently was a problem.’
    • ‘At least that's what I thought at first, but then I realized I was heavily medicated and not even looking at my computer monitor.’
    • ‘Thus, most practitioners did not appear to intentionally medicate patients for procedural pain.’
    • ‘She is heavily medicated and they believe she will slip into a full coma and then pass away.’
    • ‘For another, he's heavily medicated with antidepressants with the main side effects of sexual dysfunction and disinterest.’
    • ‘In just over one year, I was medicated 11 times for upper and lower respiratory infections, and at one point I was nearly hospitalized.’
    • ‘I'm home and I'm sick and I'm heavily medicated, so just you watch out.’
    • ‘His speech is slurred and he can hardly write and he is heavily medicated.’
    • ‘Throughout her life, she was often required to be heavily medicated.’
    • ‘The doctors could not find any medical reason for them and told us we should medicate him for a few years.’
    • ‘I don't want to put her through allergy testing, but how can I safely medicate her with over-the-counter medications?’
    • ‘What gives the government the right to medicate people without their permission?’
    disinfectant, germicidal, bactericidal
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    1. 1.1 Treat (a condition) using medicine or a drug.
      • ‘The more people who are persuaded that they have a disorder that can be medicated, the more medication the company can sell.’
      • ‘Drug companies encourage the idea that people can diagnose and medicate medical conditions themselves.’
      • ‘I would spend the next decade convincing doctors to medicate my addiction.’
      • ‘Somewhere far off, she could hear the nurses talking to her, and feel as her ankle was prodded and treated, medicated and wrapped.’
      • ‘It seems that until recently sleeplessness was seen as a normal part of childhood, not a disorder to be medicated.’
      • ‘They examined me, fussed around me, changed the bandages, medicated the wounds.’
      • ‘Because of the media of mass communication even normal life events (like menopause) are medicated with expensive drugs.’
      • ‘He just doesn't agree with the rush to brand it a new mental disorder and medicate without first exploring less drastic options.’
      treat, tend, attend to, cure, heal
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    2. 1.2 Add a medicinal substance to (a dressing or product)
      ‘medicated shampoo’
      • ‘Your baby's eyes will be treated with medicated drops or ointment.’
      • ‘Then use the medicated shampoo 2 or 3 times a week to keep dandruff away.’
      • ‘If careful cleaning and hygiene has not helped you may be prescribed medicated tablets or lozenges, which should be sucked slowly.’
      • ‘Then apply a dab of a liquid medicated cleanser - the piercer might recommend an over-the-counter option - to the area.’
      • ‘Come on then, I think I have some medicated wipes back in my dormitory.’
      • ‘It can be taken by mouth or as a medicated shampoo.’
      • ‘It consists of introducing medicated oily substances into the colon to be retained and absorbed by the whole body.’
      • ‘Always check with your doctor before using special medicated skin cleansers because these may contain strong chemicals that can be harmful if they are absorbed through a baby's skin.’
      • ‘Always talk to your health care provider before using any medicated creams or ointments to treat skin problems.’
      • ‘Once infestation is confirmed it can be treated at home either using wet combing with conditioner, or medicated lotions, combined with a special nit comb available from pharmacies.’
      • ‘And we have some kind of medicated shampoo that should help too.’
      • ‘Seborrheic dermatitis of the external ear can be treated with medicated shampoo used for the scalp.’
      • ‘‘Oh I came prepared,’ Aidan enthused and produced a bottle of medicated pet shampoo from his back pocket and passed it to Adele.’
      • ‘Scabies is treated with medicated cream prescribed by a doctor.’
      • ‘A variety of creams, gels, paints and medicated plasters are available from pharmacies.’
      • ‘More than 70 percent of our nation's drinking water is medicated to treat the teeth, according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau.’
      • ‘If your child is 2 years old or under, you should not use medicated lice treatments.’
      • ‘Your dentist may cover the socket with a medicated dressing, which will be removed and replaced frequently until the socket heals.’
      • ‘Sometimes doctors prescribe a medicated cream or pills to treat difficult warts.’
      • ‘Doctors treat scabies by prescribing a medicated cream or lotion to kill the mites.’


Early 17th century: from Latin medicat- ‘treated’, from the verb medicari ‘administer remedies to’, from medicus (see medic).