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sedative-hypnotic drug


a sedative that depresses activity of the central nervous system, and reduces anxiety and induces sleep


artifact noun (man-made objects)


sedative-hypnotic drugs

Type of:

sedative drug » medicine » drug » agent

Original source:

Princeton WordNet

Definition references

Britannica Encyclopedia:

sedative-hypnotic drug

chemical substance used to reduce tension and anxiety and induce calm or to induce sleep. Most such drugs exert a quieting or calming effect at low ... (26 of 482 words, 1 image)



Sedative | tranquilizer | tranquilliser

a substance that induces sedation by reducing irritability or excitement. At higher doses it may result in slurred speech, staggering gait, poor judgment, and slow, uncertain reflexes. Doses of sedatives such as benzodiazepines, when used as a hypnotic... (38 of 2161 words)


American Heritage Dictionary:


A drug, such as a barbiturate or antianxiety agent, that depresses the activity of the central nervous system and is used to relieve anxiety and ... (25 of 30 words, pronunciation)


Collins Dictionary:

downer | down [synonym, sense-specific]

a barbiturate, tranquillizer, or narcotic | a depressing experience | a state of depression (12 of 430 words, 3 definitions, 9 usage examples, pronunciation)


Columbia Encyclopedia:


any of a variety of drugs that relieve anxiety. Most sedatives act as mild depressants of the nervous system, lessening general nervous activity or ... (24 of 114 words)



downer | especially [synonym, sense-specific] | bummer [synonym, sense-specific] | down [synonym, sense-specific] | upper [antonym, sense-specific] | bore [similar, sense-specific] | drag [similar, sense-specific] | accident [similar, sense-specific] | fatality [similar, sense-specific] | ...

a weak, sick, or crippled animal in shipment that is down and cannot get up [often used attributively] | a depressant drug ; especially, "barbiturate" ... (24 of 112 words, 3 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)


Oxford Dictionary:

downer | downers

Syllabification: (down·er) | [informal] : (usually "downers") : a depressant or tranquilizing drug, especially a barbiturate. | a dispiriting or ... (18 of 86 words, 5 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/american english​/downer

downer [informal] | downers

(usually "downers") : a depressant or tranquillizing drug, especially a barbiturate | a dispiriting or depressing experience or factor | a cow or ... (21 of 78 words, 3 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)


Macmillan British Dictionary:

downer [informal] | downers [plural] | on a downer

[singular] something that makes you feel sad or disappointed | [countable] a drug that makes you feel relaxed or helps you sleep | "on a downer": ... (24 of 71 words, 5 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)


Random House Dictionary:


[informal] ; a depressant or sedative drug, especially a barbiturate. ; a depressing experience, person, or situation. | [animal husbandry] an old or ... (22 of 36 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)



downer | downers [plural]

A negative drug trip. | A drug that has depressant qualities. | Something or someone disagreeable, dispiriting or depressing; a killjoy (19 of 33 words, 3 definitions, 2 usage examples)


Cambridge Dictionary:

downer [entry 1, informal]

an event or experience which makes you very unhappy (9 of 28 words, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/downer 1

downer [entry 2, informal]

a drug that makes you feel calmer (7 of 19 words, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/downer 2

New World Dictionary:


any depressant drug, as a tranquilizer or barbiturate | [United States] a depressing experience, person, etc. (15 of 15 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)


Encarta Dictionary:

downer | downers [plural]

a gloomy person, situation, or experience | a drug, especially a barbiturate, that induces calmness or sleepiness (16 of 33 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861606258​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio reference

the Free Dictionary:


Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "sedative-hypnotic"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "sedative-hypnotic"


Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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