v. pre·scribed, pre·scrib·ing, pre·scribes
1. To set down as a rule, law, or direction: prescribed the terms of the surrender.
2. To order the use of (a medicine or other treatment).
1. To establish rules, laws, or directions.
2. To order a medicine or other treatment.
[Middle English prescriben, from Latin praescrībere : prae-, pre- + scrībere, to write; see skrībh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.