|Doctor , as a title, originates from the Latin word of the same spelling and meaning. The word is originally an agentive noun of the Latin verb docÄre (dÉk'e:rÉ, 'to teach'). It has been used as an honored academic title for over a millennium in Europe, where it dates back to the rise of the university. This use spread to the Americas, former European colonies, and is now prevalent in most of the world. Abbreviated "Dr" or "Dr.", it is used as a designation for a person who has obtained a doctorate-level degree. Doctorates may be research doctorates or professional doctorates. When addressing several people, each of whom holds a doctoral title, one may use the plural abbreviation "Drs." or in some languages (for example, German) "Dres." may be used, for example, instead of Dr. Miller and Dr. Rubinstein: Drs. Miller and Rubinstein. When referring to relatives with the same surname the form "The Doctors Smith" can be used. The plural abbreviation Drs. can also mean doctorandus, a Dutch academic title.