- To prescribe is to make a rule, or a doctor recommending and giving official permission for a course of treatment.
- When the legislature passes a law mandating that everyone recycle, this is an example of when the legislature prescribes recycling.
- When a doctor determines you need antibiotics and gives you an official signed authorization that you take to the pharmacist to pick up the antibiotics, this is an example of when the doctor prescribes antibiotics.
transitive verbprescribed, prescribing
- to set down as a rule or direction; order; ordain; direct
- to order or advise as a medicine or treatment: said of physicians, etc.
- Law to invalidate or outlaw by negative prescription
Origin of prescribeClassical Latin praescribere ; from prae-, before + scribere, to write: see pre- and amp; scribe
- to set down or impose rules; dictate
- to give medical advice or prescriptions
- to claim a right or title through long use or possession
- to become invalidated or outlawed by negative prescription
verbpre·scribed, pre·scrib·ing, pre·scribes
- To set down as a rule, law, or direction: prescribed the terms of the surrender.
- To order the use of (a medicine or other treatment).
- To establish rules, laws, or directions.
- To order a medicine or other treatment.
Origin of prescribeMiddle English prescriben, from Latin praescrībere : prae-, pre- + scrībere, to write; see skrībh- in Indo-European roots.
- The pronunciation with the stressed first syllable is normally used only when added distinction from proscribe is required.
(third-person singular simple present prescribes, present participle prescribing, simple past and past participle prescribed)
From Latin praescribere, from prae (“before”) and scribere (“to write”).