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[an-uh s-thee-zhuh] /ˌæn əsˈθi ʒə/
noun, Medicine/Medical, Pathology
Related forms
[an-uh s-thet-ik] /ˌæn əsˈθɛt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun
[uh-nes-thi-tist or, esp. British, uh-nees-] /əˈnɛs θɪ tɪst or, esp. British, əˈnis-/ (Show IPA),
semianaesthetic, adjective


or anaesthesia

[an-uh s-thee-zhuh] /ˌæn əsˈθi ʒə/
Medicine/Medical. general or local insensibility, as to pain and other sensation, induced by certain interventions or drugs to permit the performance of surgery or other painful procedures.
Pathology. general loss of the senses of feeling, as pain, heat, cold, touch, and other less common varieties of sensation.
Psychiatry. absence of sensation due to psychological processes, as in conversion disorders.
Origin of anesthesia
1715-25; < New Latin < Greek anaisthēsía want of feeling. See an-1, esthesia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for anaesthesia
Historical Examples
  • Wisdom cannot be imparted to children by parents under an anaesthesia that averts pain and suffering.

    Child Versus Parent Stephen Wise
  • In Boston a monument has been erected to the discoverer of anaesthesia.

    Stories Of Georgia Joel Chandler Harris
  • anaesthesia--It is well known that hypnotism may be used to render subjects insensible to pain.

  • Rather than hurt her he found himself forced to the use of anaesthesia, which he hated.

    McTeague Frank Norris
  • Gradually he emerged from the misty regions of anaesthesia, and realized that he was on a stretcher, and being carried.

    Jimmie Higgins Upton Sinclair
  • anaesthesia, in its present sense, is truly a modern discovery, which is to be credited to the United States.

  • Tiger had taken over the anaesthesia, keeping the patient under as light a dosage of medication as was possible.

    Star Surgeon Alan Nourse
  • They didn't cut huge slices out of my hide without benefit of anaesthesia.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • Hysterical women in the primary stage of anaesthesia, sometimes imagine themselves the victims of assault.

    Not Guilty Robert Blatchford
  • One hour later they pulled my fangs without benefit of anaesthesia.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
British Dictionary definitions for anaesthesia


local or general loss of bodily sensation, esp of touch, as the result of nerve damage or other abnormality
loss of sensation, esp of pain, induced by drugs: called general anaesthesia when consciousness is lost and local anaesthesia when only a specific area of the body is involved
a general dullness or lack of feeling
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from Greek anaisthēsia absence of sensation, from an- + aisthēsis feeling


the usual US spelling of anaesthesia
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anaesthesia

1721, "loss of feeling," Modern Latin, from Greek anaisthesia "want of feeling, lack of sensation (to pleasure or pain)," from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + aisthesis "feeling," from PIE root *au- "to perceive" (see audience). As "a procedure for the prevention of pain in surgical operations," from 1846.



alternative spelling of anaesthesia (q.v.). See ae.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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anaesthesia in Medicine

anesthesia an·es·the·sia (ān'ĭs-thē'zhə)

  1. Total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensibility, induced by disease, injury, acupuncture, or an anesthetic.

  2. Local or general insensibility to pain with or without the loss of consciousness, induced by an anesthetic.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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anaesthesia in Science
Total or partial loss of sensation to touch or pain, caused by nerve injury or disease, or induced intentionally, especially by the administration of anesthetic drugs, to provide medical treatment. The first public use of ether to anesthetize a patient in Boston in 1846 initiated widespread acceptance of anesthetics in the Western world for surgical procedures and obstetrics. General anesthesia, administered as inhalation or intravenous agents, acts primarily on the brain, resulting in a temporary loss of consciousness. Regional or local anesthesia affects sensation in a specific anatomic area, and includes topical application of local anesthetics, blocking of peripheral nerves, spinal anesthesia, and epidural anesthesia, which is used commonly during childbirth.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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anaesthesia in Culture
anesthesia [(an-is-thee-zhuh)]

Loss of sensation or consciousness. Anesthesia can be induced by an anesthetic, by acupuncture, or as the result of injury or disease.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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