Although the sign at the back of the shop in the old town square said apothecary, most people called the man behind the counter by his modern title, “pharmacist,” instead.

This five-syllable word, apothecary, which entered English in the 14th century, derives from the Latin apothēca, “storehouse.” It became a title for the person who was skilled in preparing medicines. “Pharmacist” is a more common synonym for apothecary. Some contemporary companies and drugstore owners use the old-fashioned charm of the term apothecary to label products they sell.

Definitions of apothecary
  1. noun

    a health professional trained in the art of preparing and dispensing drugs

    chemist, druggist, pharmacist, pill pusher, pill roller
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    pharmaceutical chemist, pharmacologist

    someone trained in the science of drugs (their composition and uses and effects)
    type of:

    PCP, caregiver, health care provider, health professional, primary care provider

    a person who helps in identifying or preventing or treating illness or disability

  2. noun

    a retail shop where medicine and other articles are sold

    apothecary’s shop, chemist’s, chemist’s shop, drugstore, pharmacy
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    type of:

    shop, store

    a mercantile establishment for the retail sale of goods or services

Word Family