1640s, from French médical, from Late Latin medicalis "of a physician," from Latin medicus "physician, surgeon, medical man" (n.); "healing, madicinal" (adj.), from mederi "to heal, give medical attention to, cure," originally "know the best course for," from an early specialization of PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures" (source also of Avestan vi-mad- "physician"). The earlier adjective in English in this sense was medicinal. Related: Medically.
1917, short for medical examination.
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