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Definition of "sedative" [sed•a•tive]

  • Having a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect; reducing or relieving anxiety, stress, irritability, or excitement. (adjective)
  • An agent or a drug having a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "sedative" in a sentence
  • "Alcohol is a short-term sedative but may induce shallow sleep and less overall sleep time."
  • "There was never any sense that he was a recreational drug user at all, but -- but there was questions about was there an overuse of certain painkillers and even, you know, the latest report about the Diprivan or the Propofol, which was that short-term sedative that was very, very dangerous that could have been used to help him go to sleep at night."
  • "The problem with most of these medications — especially so-called sedative-hypnotics, obtained by prescription and also known as benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines — is that while they might seem to give the sufferer some relief, they either disrupt or prohibit REM sleep, the restorative kind that provides great, complicated dreams and a sense of renewed vigor and optimism in the morning."