To take care of or tend, as a sick person or an invalid; to attend upon. "Sons wont to nurse their parents in old age." (Milton) "Him in Egerian groves Aricia bore, And nursed his youth along the marshy shore." (Dryden)
2. To bring up; to raise, by care, from a weak or invalid condition; to foster; to cherish; applied to plants, animals, and to any object that needs, or thrives by, attention. "To nurse the saplings tall." "By what hands [has vice] been nursed into so uncontrolled a dominion?" (Locke)
Origin: Nursed; Nursing.
1. One who nourishes; a person who supplies food, tends, or brings up; as: A woman who has the care of young children; especially, one who suckles an infant not her own. A person, especially a woman, who has the care of the sick or infirm.
<zoology> A large arctic shark (Somniosus microcephalus), having small teeth and feeble jaws; called also sleeper shark, and ground shark. A large shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum), native of the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, having the dorsal fins situated behind the ventral fins. To put to nurse, or To put out to nurse, to send away to be nursed; to place in the care of a nurse. Wet nurse, Dry nurse. See Wet nurse, and Dry nurse, in the Vocabulary.
Origin: OE. Nourse, nurice, norice, OF. Nurrice, norrice, nourrice, F. Nourrice, fr. L. Nutricia nurse, prop, fem. Of nutricius that nourishes; akin to nutrix, -icis, nurse, fr. Nutrire to nourish. See Nourish, and cf. Nutritious.
(01 Mar 1998)
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