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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb prescribe:

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Definition of the verb prescribe

What does prescribe mean as a doing word?

Prescribe is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: prescribed | prescribing | prescribes

  1. issue commands or orders for
  2. recommend as beneficial
    • example: my mother prescribes a good night's sleep as the cure for all ills
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • more generic words: advocate / recommend / urge = push for something
  3. (medicine) order the use of (a treatment, medicine, etc.), usually by written prescription
    • example: the doctor prescribed steroids for my ear trouble
    • domain: medical specialty / medicine
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • more generic words: enjoin / order / say / tell = give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority

Alternative definition of the verb prescribe


  1. To order (a drug or medical device) for use by a particular patient.
  2. To specify as a required procedure or ritual.

Definition of the verb prescribe for high school students

    to lay down a rule
    • example: The duke prescribed that from this point further all of the peasants living on his lands would have to pay higher taxes.

The verb prescribe is considered to be a word that all college-aspiring students should know and understand, so it frequently appears on the SAT, ACT and other college admissions tests.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for prescribe

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Google previewLaw and Practice of Liability Management (2014)

Debt Tender Offers, Exchange Offers, Bond Buybacks and Consent Solicitations in International Capital Markets by Apostolos Ath. Gkoutzinis

define, and prescribe means reasonably designed to prevent, such acts and practices as are fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative.”419 Pursuant to this rule-making power, and in ...

Google previewThe responsibilities of woman

by N.C. Howard

ligenee fails to prescribe means and conditions for the discharge of our duties. “'e are the best judges of the duties, as well as the qualifications, appropriate to our own department of labor; and should hold in our ...

Google previewCongress (1974)

The Electoral Connection

The ability of mass publics to prescribe means as well as ends is a neglected subject of democratic theory. If, as Morton ...

Google previewFerrara on Insider Trading and the Wall (2015)

by Ralph C. Ferrara, Herbert Thomas, Donna M. Nagy

authorizes the SEC to "prescribe means reasonably designed to prevent ...

Google previewBailliere's Nurses' Dictionary - E-Book (2014)

for Nurses and Healthcare Workers by Barbara F. Weller

Supplementary prescribers may prescribe in accordance with a clinical management plan in a tripartite arrangement with a doctor or dentist, the patient and the supplementary prescriber.

Google previewEncyclopaedia Perthensis; Or Universal Dictionary of the Arts, Sciences, Literature, &c. Intended to Supersede the Use of Other Books of Reference (1816)

To PRESCRIBE, v. a. [ praescribo, ...

Google previewDictionary of Confusable Words (2000)

by Adrian Room

PRESCRIBE PROSCRIBE 177 powerful than others in a group: 'Oak trees predominate in this forest.' To preponderate has the same sense, although the word suggests a weightiness that implies a significant superiority in numbers or ...

Google previewThe law lexicon; or dictionary of jurisprudence, etc (1867)


A person cannot prescribe to do a wrong, or anything that would be a nuisance to others; or against an Act of Parliament, for that is the highest proof and matter of record in law; or against another's prescription. (11) Where a man ...

Google previewThe Encyclopedia of United States Supreme Court Reports (1913)

Being a Complete Encyclopedia of All the Case Law of the Federal Supreme Court Up to and Including Volume 206 U.S. Supreme Court Reports (book 51 Lawyers' Edition)

Power to Prescribe System of Accounting, to Call for Reports, etc.— Constitutionality of Provision.—Congress did not exceed its power under the commerce clause by enacting the Act of February 4, 1887, § 20, as amended by the Act of June ...

Google previewThe American and English Encyclopaedia of Law (1904)

by David Shephard Garland, Lucius Polk McGehee, James Cockcroft, Charles Porterfield

The statutes of O/no confer power upon municipalities to determine the conditions of the grant of a street railway franchise at the time it is made, including fixing the rates of fare to be charged, but no power thereafter to prescribe rates of fare.

Google previewEncyclopaedia Britannica or a Dictionary of Arts and Sciences [...] (1771)

Ministers stipends and multures prescribe in five ...

Google previewThe Imperial Dictionary (1861)

English, Technological, and Scientific by John Ogilvie

PRESCRIBE, v. t. [L. praescribo, to write before.] 1. In med, to direct, as a remedy to be used or applied to a diseased patient. Be not offended with the physician who prescribes harsh remedies.–2. To set or lay down authoritatively for direction ; ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for prescribe

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Photos about prescribe

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Photo credit: sa9ah

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
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Video about prescribe

Prescribe or Proscribe - The Difference - ESL British English Pronunciation

See also the pronunciation examples of prescribe!

Quotes about prescribe

Just as it would be madness to settle on medical treatment for the body of a person by taking an opinion poll of the neighbors, so it is irrational to prescribe for the body politic by polling the opinions of the people at large. (Plato)
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Scrabble value of P3R1E1S1C3R1I1B3E1

The value of this 9-letter word is 15 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of PRESCRIBE

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