stimulant

[stim-yuh-luhnt]
noun
1.
Physiology, Medicine/Medical. something that temporarily quickens some vital process or the functional activity of some organ or part: Adrenalin is a stimulant for the heart.
2.
any food or beverage that stimulates, especially coffee, tea, or, in its initial effect, alcoholic liquor.
3.
a stimulus or incentive.
adjective
4.
Physiology, Medicine/Medical. temporarily quickening some vital process or functional activity.
Compare depressant.


Origin:
1720–30; < Latin stimulant- (stem of stimulāns, present participle of stimulāre to goad). See stimulus, -ant

antistimulant, adjective, noun
nonstimulant, noun, adjective
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World English Dictionary
stimulant (ˈstɪmjʊlənt)
 
n
1.  a drug or similar substance that increases physiological activity, esp of a particular organ
2.  any stimulating agent or thing
 
adj
3.  increasing physiological activity; stimulating
 
[C18: from Latin stimulāns goading, from stimulāre to urge on; see stimulus]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

stimulant
1728; see stimulation.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

stimulant stim·u·lant (stĭm'yə-lənt)
n.
An agent that arouses organic activity, strengthens the action of the heart, increases vitality, and promotes a sense of well-being. adj.
Serving as or being a stimulant.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
stimulant   (stĭm'yə-lənt)  Pronunciation Key 
An agent, especially a drug, that causes increased activity, especially of the nervous or cardiovascular systems. Caffeine is a commonly used stimulant.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
There are many stimulants that increase short term physical performance.
The more complex one sees the world the more the brain is used the less time
  for simple pleasures, simple stimulants.
In times of war, coffee has proved more valuable than alcoholic stimulants to
  keep up the enduring power of soldiers.
Others contend that were the relatively innocuous marijuana legal, fewer would
  reach for the ill-understood synthetic stimulants.
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