Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 2 months ago

what's the difference between medicine and medication?

I know that medicine is a field of science, but some people use the word "medicine" or "medicines" to refer to drugs.  I assume this is where the term "medicine cabinet" comes from meaning "a place where medicines are kept".  Is the word "medicine" an outdated term for "medication" or does it have a slightly different meaning?  Possibly something less formal than medication, like an herbal treatment or something?

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago





    the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (in technical use often taken to exclude surgery).

    "he made distinguished contributions to pathology and medicine"


    medical science

    practice of medicine





    healing art


    a compound or preparation used for the treatment or prevention of disease, especially a drug or drugs taken by mouth.

    "give her some medicine"




    noun: medication; plural noun: medications

    a substance used for medical treatment, especially a medicine or drug.

    "certain medications can cause dizziness"

    treatment using drugs.

    "chronic gastrointestinal symptoms which may require prolonged medication"

    According to the dictionary definitions, it looks like medicine be the collective term, and medication would be a substance that was encompassed within that collective term.

    Good question. I learned something new.

  • 2 months ago

    English is so dependent upon context. Although both words mean the same thing, in a certain context 'medication' can mean the actual process of treatment using drugs. In another context, 'Medicine' can mean the science of treating diseases.

  • medicine are lozenges and pills while medication is the actual prescription they gave you

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