nurse


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Related to nurse: registered nurse

nurse (one's) drink

To consume one's beverage, especially alcohol, rather slowly, either as a means of conserving it or to avoid getting drunk. I spent too much money and got drunk too often when I would go to bars in college, so I've learned to nurse my drinks when I go out nowadays.
See also: drink, nurse

nurse a serpent in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. (A less common variant of "nurse a viper in one's bosom.") I thought the profligate had seen the light and was seeking redemption, and so I took him into my care. But before long, I knew I had nursed a serpent in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nursed a serpent in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nurse, serpent

nurse a viper in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. I thought the profligate had seen the light and was seeking redemption, and so I took him into my care. But before long, I knew I had nursed a viper in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nursed a viper in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nurse, viper

nurse a snake in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. I thought the profligate had seen the light and was seeking redemption, and so I took him into my care. But before long, I knew I had nursed a snake in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nursed a snake in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nurse, snake

nurse a drink

To consume a beverage, especially alcohol, rather slowly, either as a means of conserving it or to avoid getting drunk. I spent too much money and got drunk too often when I would go to bars in college, so I've learned to just nurse a drink or two when I go out nowadays.
See also: drink, nurse

nurse a grudge (against one)

To harbor persistent and continual resentment or ill feelings toward one, especially for some slight or wrongdoing one committed in the past. Johnny has been nursing a grudge against me since we were 12 because I embarrassed him in front of a girl he liked. Samantha is just so forgiving—I don't think she's ever nursed a grudge in her life!
See also: grudge, nurse

nurse along

1. To give close medical care and attention to someone or an animal in an attempt to return them or it to full health. A noun or pronoun can be used between "nurse" and "along." The government nursed along the foreign spy so that he would be able to survive their torture techniques to extract information from him. The poor stray was nearly starved to death when we found her in the gutter, so we took her in and nursed her along until she was back to a healthy weight.
2. To give close care and attention to something, such as a business or project, to make sure it succeeds, remains operational, or does not fail. A noun or pronoun can be used between "nurse" and "along." The stimulus package has helped nurse along several of the massive corporations deemed "too big to fail," but it wasn't enough to prevent the closure of thousands of other small businesses. This game has been a passion project of mine, and I've been nursing it along for nearly 10 years now.
See also: nurse

nurse (someone or something) back to health

To give close medical care and attention to someone or an animal in an attempt to return them or it to full health. The government nursed the foreign spy back to health so that he would be able to survive their torture techniques to extract information from him. The poor stray was nearly starved to death when we found her in the gutter, so we took her in and nursed her back to health until she was back to a healthy weight.
See also: back, health, nurse

nurse (someone or something) through (something)

To give close medical care and attention to someone or an animal through a particularly dangerous or difficult period of ill health. My mother never left my side when I decided to give up heroin for good, nursing me through the most awful part of the withdrawal. I nursed my wife through three rounds of cancer treatment, so don't you dare tell me that I don't understand what suffering looks like.
See also: nurse, through

nurse a grudge (against someone)

Fig. to keep resenting and disliking someone over a period of time. (Usually implies that it has been an unreasonably long time.) Sally is still nursing a grudge against Mary. How long can anyone nurse a grudge?
See also: grudge, nurse

nurse someone back to health

to care for a sick person until good health returns. Sally was glad to help nurse her mother back to health. She nursed her children back to health when they all had the flu.
See also: back, health, nurse

nurse someone (or an animal) along

to aid or encourage the well-being or return to health of someone or an animal. She nursed the old man along for a few years until he died. She nursed along the invalid. The vet nursed the horse along for the rest of the night. He nursed himself along with chicken noodle soup and hot baths until the virus ran its course.
See also: nurse

nurse someone through (something)

to care for a sick person during the worst part of a sickness or recovery. There was no one there to nurse him through the worst part of his illness. It was a horrible ordeal, but John nursed her through.
See also: nurse, through

nurse something along

Fig. to manage something with care and thrift. (See also nurse someone or an animal along.) The board of directors agreed to nurse the firm along for a while and then sell it. She nursed along the failing business until it was showing a profit.
See also: nurse

nurse a drink

Consume a drink slowly, especially in order to conserve it. For example, He nursed one drink for the whole evening. This idiom alludes to holding a glass very carefully, as one might a child. [c. 1940]
See also: drink, nurse

nurse a grudge

Bear resentment for a long time, as in We don't know why Karl looks so angry; I think he's nursing a grudge against the family. This expression uses nurse in the sense of "foster a feeling," a usage dating from the mid-1700s.
See also: grudge, nurse
References in classic literature ?
As the darkness fell on the two women the nurse spoke.
The nurse hesitated, through sheer incredulity and surprise.
The nurse could fix no time for her appearance, caution requiring that she should wait and be guided by circumstances.
At the end of that time the nurse came quickly round the corner of the wall holding Lady Glyde by the arm.
The nurse had dressed Lady Glyde, with excellent forethought, in a bonnet, veil, and shawl of her own.
The nurse consented to follow these suggestions, the more readily as they offered her the means of securing herself against any worse consequences than the loss of her place, by remaining in the Asylum, and so maintaining the appearance of innocence, at least.
Alexey Alexandrovitch sat down, and with a despondent and suffering face watched the nurse walking to and fro.
When the child at last was still, and had been put in a deep bed, and the nurse, after smoothing the little pillow, had left her, Alexey Alexandrovitch got up, and walking awkwardly on tiptoe, approached the baby.
He would go into the nursery several times a day, and sit there for a long while, so that the nurses, who were at first afraid of him, got quite used to his presence.
Presently he turned and looked at the nurse again and strangely enough he was not like a Rajah at all as he spoke to her.
The nurse was neither clever nor soft-hearted but she could repeat some of the London doctor's words.
The nurse remade the tumbled bed and shook and straightened the pillows.
"I will put him to sleep," Mary said to the yawning nurse. "You can go if you like."
"Well," said the nurse, with an attempt at reluctance.
Princess Mary shuddered; her nurse, putting down the stocking she was knitting, went to the window and leaning out tried to catch the open casement.