Is there a single word to use when describing someone visiting someone who is sick?

  • 1
    Call upon comes to mind even though it is not one word
    – mplungjan
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 9:03
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    What makes you think there is a word, or that there's just one word? (Maybe you meant, "What's a word to describe..."?)
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 10:38
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    @J.R. sadly a lot of people seem to think there's a single specific word for everything, no matter how specific and convoluted. Maybe should ask for a single word to indicate a person who is sick and visits a doctor who is unable to cure him but sends him to another doctor who then goes on to make a wrong diagnosis, causing the person to have to spend years taking wrong medication before finally ending up with a specialist who happens to recognise the rather rare condition she is suffering from because he just read an article about it in the proceeds of a recent congress...
    – jwenting
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 12:49
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    What do you mean "sadly" Why not ask since there are thousands of such exact words in many languages and English borrows from many of them. In Arab there is a SPECIFIC word meaning just that and a word describing what sort of behaviour it is. In Hebrew there is a similar word for the act of kindness. In English there is a religious word that specifically means "a clergyman that comes to a sick person": Visitation. It cannot be used here but there is such a word
    – mplungjan
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 13:14
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    I still have ZERO problems with any of your griviances. I learned a new word today in Arab and could not find a good word in English although I was sure there was one, obscure or not. Something like what women did in the 18th century with their friends that had just given birth.
    – mplungjan
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


The verb 'to visit' carries this connotation and is the term used referring to sick people: (from TFD and dictionary.reference.com)

To visit:

  • to go to see in order to aid or console: visit the sick and dying.
  • to come to in order to comfort or aid: to visit the sick.
  • 1
    Actually 'visit', while a fine word, says nothing about the need for a noun meaning a person conducting the visit to a sick person.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 20:22
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    Agreed. Absent some specific additional context (like "I am going to visit <x> in the hospital"), "visit" alone does not automatically convey any "sick" connotation.
    – nobody
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 20:51
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    Actually the dictionaries mentioned as well as others give the specific meaning of visit with the connotation described above. I think it is because 'visit' is the most proper verb you'd use in such a context!!
    – user66974
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 20:55
  • It's interesting how some dictionaries list that specific meaning (like Am Her Def #1b) while others (like Collins) don't. Even if that meaning is not universally listed, though, I still think the smattering of meanings that can be found make visit is a viable candidate, even if it doesn't always convey visiting a sick person – especially with a lack of other suggestions.
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 3:47
  • I think Josh, as I, got confused with Visitation, which has one meaning of a clergyman visiting a sick person (for last rites for example)
    – mplungjan
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 6:45

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