Meaning of prescription in English:


Pronunciation /prɪˈskrɪpʃ(ə)n/

See synonyms for prescription

Translate prescription into Spanish


  • 1An instruction written by a medical practitioner that authorizes a patient to be issued with a medicine or treatment.

    ‘he scribbled a prescription for tranquillizers’
    • ‘the lotion is available on prescription’
    • ‘In brief, the general practitioner writes a prescription which the patient takes to the pharmacist.’
    • ‘The authors conclude that at least 7 percent of prescriptions written for pediatric patients in the emergency department are not filled.’
    • ‘Then I go to attend to my patients and write prescriptions and directions for their ailments.’
    • ‘Pharmacists have been given the go-ahead to issue repeat prescriptions without involving family doctors and to sell medicines which have only been available on prescription.’
    • ‘Writing clear and concise directions on the prescription will assist the patient in appropriate use of the medication.’
    • ‘It has been alleged that Ting employed an unlicensed technician who saw patients and wrote prescriptions.’
    • ‘We considered patients as currently receiving a drug if their last prescription was issued within 90 days before the index date.’
    • ‘Correct patient identification and clear written prescriptions are important components of the safe administration of drugs in hospital.’
    • ‘I'm looking forward to being able to write prescriptions and referral letters with the click of a button.’
    • ‘The surgeon gives the patient a prescription for supervised physical therapy.’
    • ‘In order to write a prescription the recipient of the prescription must be a patient in their clinic and have a chart.’
    • ‘Use of computers for issuing prescriptions increased prescribing of generic drugs, and use of computers for test ordering led to cost savings and fewer unnecessary tests.’
    • ‘Properly written prescriptions will help ensure continuity of care in the patient's local community.’
    • ‘Prescriptions must only be signed by the prescriber at the time prescriptions are written for a specific patient.’
    • ‘A doctor will write you a prescription for pain medication.’
    • ‘A computer glitch at one general practice resulted in prescriptions being issued with the real cost of the drug printed alongside each item.’
    • ‘I wrote a bunch of prescriptions and sent seven patients home from the hospital.’
    • ‘If your patient has a prescription for a medication for mood control, take it with you and use it when he/she begins to become anxious.’
    • ‘If this is an ongoing problem, ask your prescriber to write the prescription for the dosage form you can take most comfortably.’
    • ‘He examined my lesions through a magnifying glass, quickly wrote down a prescription of drugs, and, handing it to us, asked us to come for follow up after a week.’
    • ‘The only difference is that that member wants to force people to follow one prescription rather than actually to work with people and use the brains of the whole industry.’
    instruction, order, direction, authorization
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The action of prescribing a medicine or treatment.
      ‘the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics’
      • ‘Exercise and dietary therapy precedes prescription of medication by physicians.’
      • ‘These results may have consequences for more targeted prescription of ocular antibiotics.’
      • ‘Doctors will usually be less able than exercise teachers to advise on the individualised prescription of particular exercises or activities.’
      • ‘Quite the opposite, the aim of this paper is to increase awareness that a universal exercise and dietary prescription for reducing heart disease risk is not appropriate.’
      • ‘For respiratory tract infections, the primary goal was to rationalise prescribing, indicated by antibiotic prescription.’
      • ‘A physician in England implemented the concept of a safety-net antibiotic prescription.’
      • ‘The inverse association between death and prescription for antibiotics, which seemed to be confined in the main to the under 45 age group, has not to our knowledge been reported before.’
      • ‘The rate of antibiotic prescription varies enormously between countries and between groups within countries.’
      • ‘It can arise due to poor adherence to treatment, inappropriate prescription, irregular drug supply, or poor drug quality.’
      • ‘The general practitioners recorded days of illness, physical signs, and antibiotic prescription.’
      • ‘Inappropriate use of the available data could result in prescription of incorrect dosages.’
      • ‘The expensive and effective marketing of pharmaceutical companies has made a generation of physicians well versed in the prescription of antidepressants.’
      • ‘In parallel with the increase use of stimulants given to children has been a growth of childhood depression and the prescription of antidepressants such as Prozac.’
      • ‘But at the same time there are questions whether we may have become too responsive to any signs of depression, particularly when it comes to the prescription of antidepressants.’
    2. 1.2A medicine or remedy that is prescribed.
      ‘I've got to pick up my prescription from the chemist's’
      • ‘Angus waited outside whilst I went in and bought Gerald's medicine, a continuing prescription routinely picked up once a month.’
      • ‘But with prescriptions like antibiotics, the medication must be finished for it to be effective.’
      • ‘At the chemist picking up my prescription, I saw two young guys standing in line.’
      • ‘Zhang reported about 200 different prescriptions of herbs effective for treating epilepsy.’
      • ‘Although medication is often part of a successful treatment approach, school personnel are usually not directly involved in recommending a prescription.’
      • ‘The same diet prescription was adopted by all the participants.’
      • ‘In spite of some of the mysterious remedies, other prescriptions, as he said, came out of the theory of Chinese medicine - using acupuncture and herbs.’
      • ‘Thus, the principles of exercise prescription for heart failure patients are similar to those for healthy people.’
      • ‘My mother passed away last year and I took her prescriptions to my local pharmacy.’
      • ‘In the USA, a man took a traditional herbal prescription containing 36 ingredients.’
      • ‘The Lancet letter also gave details of the herbal prescription which this patient supposedly was taking.’
      • ‘Additionally her spirit was being calmed and her moods and concentration were considered within the herbal prescription.’
      medicine, drug, medication, remedy, cure, dose, treatment, preparation, mixture
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  • 2A recommendation that is authoritatively put forward.

    ‘effective prescriptions for sustaining rural communities’
    • ‘Your institution may have recommendations or prescriptions about the form this should take.’
    • ‘Put that way, those recommendations sound like a prescription for improvement of ecology in general, not just studies of urbanization effects.’
    • ‘However, the letter demonstrates that recommendations and prescriptions for society often reflect individual biases and belief systems.’
    • ‘All parties have their own prescriptions for giving a boost to the rural economy and creating more jobs.’
    • ‘In the end, few doctors will object to the basic prescription: Avoid drastic procedures that probably won't help and might actually do harm.’
    • ‘There is much to recommend Lodal's prescription but less reason to believe it will be embraced.’
    • ‘Sadly, it seems that what matters to Judge Becker is not what courts say, but what the executive has said - and what the best policy prescription may be.’
    • ‘It is making a completely new prescription in terms of what was the effect or result of the 1947 Act.’
    • ‘Is the Human Development Report's prescription convincing?’
    • ‘There was no width prescription in the case of private roads.’
    • ‘Even if I could do it, it's impossible to spell out a detailed policy prescription in a blog.’
    • ‘We believe that the economic policy prescriptions of the current government are fundamentally correct.’
    method, measure
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    1. 2.1mass noun The authoritative recommendation of an action or procedure.
      ‘rather than prescription there would be guidance’
      • ‘Sex education in schools is no bad thing, providing it scores high on non-judgemental advice and information and low on recommendation and prescription.’
      • ‘He offers no formulaic prescription in this book.’
      • ‘The power of his book lies not in prescription, but rather in his acute, erudite and provocative historical analysis.’
      • ‘The strength of the book, however, lies in historical description rather than in theological prescription.’
      • ‘It is difficult to offer prescription on this point.’
      • ‘For instance, if we do not have much prescription in the legislation, there is no constraint on officials.’
  • 3

    (also positive prescription)
    mass noun The establishment of a claim founded on the basis of a long or indefinite period of uninterrupted use or of long-standing custom.

    ‘In order to acquire a right to an easement or right-of-way by prescription, a party must show a clear period of continuous use for a period of twenty years.’
    • ‘But their immediate impact on the political structure, at a time when the power of prescription and force of custom were over-riding, is difficult to assess.’
    • ‘Lastly, the defence of prescription does not apply to public nuisance because no one can acquire the right to commit a crime.’
    • ‘The evidence required to establish title by prescription will vary with the nature of the user.’
    • ‘Traditionally, it was accepted that wives and children were subordinate and subservient to the husband father, either because of biblical prescription or natural inferiority.’


Late Middle English (as a legal term): via Old French from Latin praescriptio(n-), from the verb praescribere (see prescribe). prescription (sense 1) dates from the late 16th century.