The Meaning of DNR: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you heard someone say DNR in a medical context and wondered what it meant? This article is here to help you learn all about the meaning of DNR.

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What is a DNR order? You might have heard this term on your favorite medical drama or if you work in a hospital. But what does it mean? This article will define the acronym DNR and teach you how to use it. It will also teach you translations of DNR and other less common meanings of DNR. 

What Does DNR Mean?

DNR stands for do not resuscitate. A do not resuscitate order is a document that a person creates with their health care provider. It tells emergency medical services and responders not to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) if their heart stops and they are in cardiac arrest. 

A person decides to go on DNR with their healthcare team of medical professionals as a form of end-of-life care, also known as palliative care or advance care.

When a person has a DNR order, they do not want a breathing tube for the airway, electric shock, chest compression, intubation, defibrillation, life support, or other medical treatments or interventions to resuscitate them. Instead, the physician orders the healthcare professionals to allow natural death. 

A person with a DNR medical order might be at peace with family members and loved ones and be ready to go.

A person might choose to have a DNR order if they have a terminal illness or other medical condition or if they would not have a quality of life if they were resuscitated. These sorts of advanced directives are part of a living will so that a person can participate in decision-making about their medical condition while they are conscious and cognizant.

What Are Translations of DNR?

We now know that DNR is short for do not resuscitate. This is an English term, but many countries worldwide have their own medical terminology for when doctors should not resuscitate a person. Often, abbreviations like DNR do not work in other languages because the starting letters are not the same. 

Therefore, it is important to know how to say the full form of do not resuscitate in different languages if you are traveling. It is better to be safe than sorry if there is a medical emergency, so study this list of translations of do not resuscitate from Nice Translator

  • Italian: non rianimare
  • Vietnamese: không hồi sinh
  • Bengali: পুনরুজ্জীবিত না
  • Norwegian: Ikke gjenoppliv
  • Swedish: återuppliva inte
  • Czech: neoživovat
  • Indonesian: Jangan menyadarkan kembali
  • Thai: อย่าฟื้นคืนชีพ
  • Gujarati: પુનર્જીવિત ન કરો
  • Filipino: Huwag mag -resuscitate
  • Romanian: Nu resuscitați
  • French: ne pas ressusciter
  • Polish: nie reanimuj
  • Welsh: Peidiwch â dadebru
  • Malay: Jangan resusitasi
  • Serbian: не ресусцитате
  • Dutch: niet reanimeren
  • Basque: ez berpiztu
  • Russian: не реанимировать
  • Estonian: Ärge elustage
  • Japanese: 蘇生しないでください
  • Hebrew: אל תחייב מחדש
  • Lithuanian: Negalima atgaivinti
  • Kannada: ಪುನರುಜ್ಜೀವನಗೊಳಿಸಬೇಡಿ
  • Chinese (PRC): 不要复苏
  • Greek: Μην αναζωογονώ
  • Portuguese (Portugal): não ressuscite
  • Swahili: Usichukue tena
  • Malayalam: വീണ്ടും സമന്വയിപ്പിക്കരുത്
  • Marathi: पुनरुत्थान करू नका
  • Portuguese (Brazil): não ressuscite
  • Croatian: Ne oživljavajte
  • Danish: Genopliv ikke
  • Korean: 소생하지 마십시오
  • Slovak: neresuscitujte
  • Icelandic: Ekki endurlífga
  • Arabic: لا تنعش
  • German: nicht reanimieren
  • Tamil: புத்துயிர் இல்லை
  • Amharic: አትመለስ
  • Urdu: دوبارہ بازیافت نہ کریں
  • Telugu: పునరుజ్జీవనం చేయవద్దు
  • Ukrainian: Не реанімуйте
  • Slovenian: Ne oživljajte
  • Finnish: Älä elvytä
  • Spanish: no resucitar
  • Catalan: No reanimeu
  • Hindi: मुझे पुनर्जीवित मत करो
  • Hungarian: ne támaszd fel
  • Turkish: diriltmek yok
  • Bulgarian: Не реанимирайте
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 不要復蘇

What Are Other Meanings of DNR?

DNR has one main meaning in the medical field, but what does this versatile acronym mean in other fields? The Free Dictionary teaches us all about what DNR can mean in several fields. 

If you hear someone using the term DNR in a situation where do not resuscitate does not make sense, they might be using the acronym DNR to stand for one of the below possible meanings. Take a look and see how many of these meanings of DNR you already know. 

Meanings of DNR in Technology

If you are in the tech industry, you might hear someone use DNR to me in one of the below potential meanings:

  • Dynamic Noise Reduction
  • Disable Nested Reassign
  • Dynamic Network Routing
  • Data Network Redesign
  • Digital Network Radio
  • Data Network Routing
  • Dolby Noise Reduction
  • Do Not Revert (Ciena)
  • DotnetRocks (.NET software radio show)
  • Distance-To-Noise Ratio
  • Drive Not Ready (computer error)
  • Digital Noise Reduction
  • Domain Name Registration
  • Data Network Report

Meanings of DNR in Government

A government worker might likely use DNR to mean one of the following:

  • Director Naval Reserves
  • Department of National Registration (Maldives)
  • Dienst Nationale Recherche (Dutch: National Criminal Investigation Service)
  • Director of Naval Reactors (US Navy)
  • Department of National Revenue (Canadian)
  • Department of Naval Research
  • Department of Natural Resources

Meanings of DNR in Science

Scientists can use the abbreviation DNR to mean all kinds of different things: 

  • Distance-To-Noise Ratio
  • Dynamic Noise Reduction
  • Dynamic Neutron Radiography
  • Director of Naval Reactors (US Navy)
  • Do Not Revive (less common)
  • Department of Naval Research
  • Dry Natural Rubber
  • Daunorubicin
  • Diazonaphthoquinone Novalac Resist
  • Drop And Run (medical)

Meanings of DNR in Business

While people in business might not have a lot of possible meanings for DNR, there are still a few to try:

  • De Nieuwe Regeling (Dutch: The New Rules)
  • Do Not Reorder
  • Dundee Newtyle Railway
  • Did Not Report

Meanings of DNR in Organizations

Several organizations around the world abbreviate their name using the acronym DNR:

  • Do Not Remember (adoption)
  • Donetsk People’s Republic (Ukraine)
  • Det Norske Radiumhospital (Norwegian: Norwegian Radium Hospital)
  • Descriptions de Niveaux de Référence (French: Description of Reference Levels)
  • De Nieuwe Regeling (Dutch: The New Rules)
  • Deutsche Naturschutzring (German: German Nature Ring)

Meaning of DNR as Slang

Have you ever heard one of these slang terms for DNR? 

  • DotnetRocks (.NET software radio show)
  • Do Not Remove
  • Do Not Refrigerate
  • Dreams Not Reality (band)
  • Did Not Register (racing)


DNR stands for do not resuscitate, a physician-signed legal order that states that a person does not want to be resuscitated during an emergency when breathing stops. Usually, people choose a do not resuscitate order when it is not likely that they would survive resuscitation. 

Health care decisions like DNR are not made lightly, but caregivers must follow them as it is a part of medical care.


  1. Do Not Resuscitate | Nice Translator 
  2. What Is a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Order? Why Is It Used? | GoodRx 
  3. DNR – What does DNR stand for? | The Free Dictionary