Nurse (?), n. [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.] 1.
One who nourishes; a person who supplies food, tends, or brings
up; as: (a) A woman who has the care of young
children; especially, one who suckles an infant not her own.
(b) A person, especially a woman, who has the care of
the sick or infirm.
2. One who, or that which, brings up, rears,
causes to grow, trains, fosters, or the like.
The nurse of manly sentiment and heroic
3. (Naut.) A lieutenant or first
officer, who is the real commander when the captain is unfit for his
4. (Zoöl.) (a) A
peculiar larva of certain trematodes which produces cercariæ by
asexual reproduction. See Cercaria, and Redia.
(b) Either one of the nurse sharks.
Nurse shark. (Zoöl.)
(a) A large arctic shark (Somniosus
microcephalus), having small teeth and feeble jaws; -- called
also sleeper shark, and ground shark.
(b) 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.
Nurse, v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Nursed (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Nursing.] 1. To nourish; to cherish; to
foster; as: (a) To nourish at the breast;
to suckle; to feed and tend, as an infant. (b)
To take care of or tend, as a sick person or an invalid; to
Sons wont to nurse their parents in old
Him in Egerian groves Aricia bore,
And nursed his youth along the marshy shore.
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.
3. To manage with care and economy, with a
view to increase; as, to nurse our national
4. To caress; to fondle, as a nurse
does. A. Trollope.
To nurse billiard balls, to strike them
gently and so as to keep them in good position during a series of