verb (used with object)

  1. to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment.
  2. to bring to an end or conclusion, as conflicts between people or groups, usually with the strong implication of restoring former amity; settle; reconcile: They tried to heal the rift between them but were unsuccessful.
  3. to free from evil; cleanse; purify: to heal the soul.

verb (used without object)

  1. to effect a cure.
  2. (of a wound, broken bone, etc.) to become whole or sound; mend; get well (often followed by up or over).


  1. to restore or be restored to health
  2. (intr; often foll by over or up) (of a wound, burn, etc) to repair by natural processes, as by scar formation
  3. (tr)
    1. to treat (a wound, etc) by assisting in its natural repair
    2. to cure (a disease or disorder)
  4. to restore or be restored to friendly relations, harmony, etc

Old English hælan “cure; save; make whole, sound and well,” from Proto-Germanic *hailjan (cf. Old Saxon helian, Old Norse heila, Old Frisian hela, Dutch helen, German heilen, Gothic ga-hailjan “to heal, cure”), literally “to make whole” (see health). Related: Healed; healing.


  1. To restore to health or soundness; cure.
  2. To become well; return to sound health.
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