a substance that produces anesthesia, as halothane, procaine, or ether.
pertaining to or causing physical insensibility: an anesthetic gas.
physically insensitive: Halothane is used to produce an anesthetic state.
Also, anaesthetic.

1840–50, Americanism; < Greek anaísthēt(os) without feeling, senseless + -ic; see an-1, esthetic

anesthetically, adverb
nonanesthetic, adjective, noun
postanesthetic, adjective
semianesthetic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
anaesthetic or (US) anesthetic (ˌænɪsˈθɛtɪk)
1.  a substance that causes anaesthesia
2.  causing or characterized by anaesthesia
anesthetic or (US) anesthetic

anesthetic (ˌænɪsˈθɛtɪk)
n, —adj
the usual US spelling of anaesthetic

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

alt. spelling of anaesthetic (q.v.). See ae.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

anesthetic an·es·thet·ic (ān'ĭs-thět'ĭk)
An agent that reversibly depresses neuronal function, producing total or partial loss of sensation. adj.

  1. Characterized by the loss of sensation.

  2. Capable of producing a loss of sensation.

  3. Associated with or due to the state of anesthesia.

an'es·thet'i·cal·ly adv.
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
anesthetic   (ān'ĭs-thět'ĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
A drug that temporarily depresses neuronal function, producing total or partial loss of sensation with or without the loss of consciousness.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
anesthetic [(an-is-thet-ik)]

A substance that causes loss of sensation or consciousness. With the aid of an anesthetic, people can undergo surgery without pain. (See general anesthetic and local anesthetic.)

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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Example sentences
The drugs are commonly used as the first anesthetic with which to put a patient
  to sleep for surgical or dental procedures.
The dentist may apply a topical anesthetic to numb the area before beginning
  the procedure.
In antiquity, the mandrake's root and berry were used widely as an anesthetic.
Thus the notion that there is a single molecular mechanism of action for all
  anesthetic agents is probably an oversimplification.
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