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depressant

[dih-pres-uh nt] /dɪˈprɛs ənt/
adjective
1.
Medicine/Medical. having the quality of depressing or lowering the vital activities; sedative.
2.
causing a lowering in spirits; dejecting.
3.
causing a drop in value; economically depressing.
noun
4.
Medicine/Medical. a sedative.
Compare stimulant (def 1).
5.
Chemistry. any agent capable of diminishing a specific property of a substance.
Origin
1875-1880
1875-80; depress + -ant
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for depressant
  • Zoloft, although an anti-depressant, helps balance your brain chemistry.
  • We drink to celebrate, but because alcohol works as a depressant, it ends up deadening feelings.
British Dictionary definitions for depressant

depressant

/dɪˈprɛsənt/
adjective
1.
(med) able to diminish or reduce nervous or functional activity
2.
causing gloom or dejection; depressing
noun
3.
a depressant drug
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 depressant
n.

"sedative," 1876 as a noun, 1887 as an adjective; see depress + -ant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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depressant in Medicine

depressant de·pres·sant (dĭ-prěs'ənt)
adj.
Tending to lower the rate of vital physiological activities. n.
An agent, especially a drug, that decreases the rate of vital physiological activities.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for depressant

in medicine, a drug or other agent that slows the activity of vital organs of the body. Depressants acting on the central nervous system include general anesthetics, opiates, alcohol, and hypnotics. Tranquilizing drugs (ataractics) act primarily on the lower levels of the brain, relieving tension without reducing mental sharpness.

Learn more about depressant with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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13
15
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