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Pronunciation RealAudio

Rx (ahr-eks) noun

1. A prescription.
2. A solution to a problem.

[Abbreviation of Latin recipe (take), imperative of recipere (to take), from re- + capere (to take).]

"The Scrubs star dishes about her coworkers' embarrassing pranks and the Rx for romance."
Lesley Goober; TV's Resident Cutie; Cosmopolitan (New York); May 2003.

"Congressmen recently offered an Rx for sky-high medical malpractice awards by approving a $250,000 cap."
Pain vs. Premiums; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Mar 23, 2003.

If you ever wondered what that mysterious Rx sign meant in the prescription your doctor wrote, now you know. Going by how often a doctor has to write prescriptions, it's no coincidence it's abbreviated. Rx has a handful of cousins, dx: diagnosis, hx: history, sx: symptoms, and tx: treatment.

Doctors and pharmacists ('chemists' for those of you in British Commonwealth countries) use a code language and if you were curious to know what your prescription means, check out this decoder.

The rest of the week we'll look at abbreviations and acronyms (words formed from initial letters, such as RADAR) from other fields.


An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field. -Niels Bohr, physicist (1885-1962)

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