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Definition of Pill

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Pill: In pharmacy, a medicinal substance in a small round or oval mass meant to be swallowed. Pills often contain a filler and a plastic substance such as lactose that permits the pill to be rolled by hand or machine into the desired form. The pill may then be coated with a varnishlike substance.

The word pill is a shortened version of the French pilule, a pill. Originally from the Latin pila, a ball.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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