A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[sed-uh-tiv] /ˈsɛd ə tɪv/
tending to calm or soothe.
allaying irritability or excitement; assuaging pain; lowering functional activity.
a sedative drug or agent.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (adj.) (< Middle French sédatif) < Medieval Latin sēdātīvus, equivalent to Latin sēdāt(us) (see sedate) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
unsedative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sedatives
  • When sedatives injected into the dinosaur kick in, the razor jaws close down on the tongue and sever it in a spurt of dark blood.
  • The doctor patiently went over the process of administering sedatives and waking up the patient hourly to check on progress.
  • The next step is to treat the symptoms, which may require antipsychotic medication and sedatives.
  • Tranquilizers, antidepressants, blood pressure medications and sedatives can increase your risk of falling.
  • Never give sedatives to a cargo animal because they can interfere with the animal's adaptation to flight conditions.
  • sedatives, tranquilizers, and any other medications that are broken down by the liver should be avoided if possible.
  • These medicines do not carry the same problems with tolerance and dependence as sedatives.
  • sedatives may be prescribed for irritability or restlessness.
  • Antihistamines, sedatives, or tranquilizers may be needed to reduce itching and stress.
  • The patient is given a local anesthetic, oxygen, and sedatives.
British Dictionary definitions for sedatives


having a soothing or calming effect
of or relating to sedation
(med) a sedative drug or agent
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin sēdātīvus, from Latin sēdātus assuaged; see sedate1
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 sedatives



"tending to calm or soothe," early 15c., from Medieval Latin sedativus "calming, allaying," from sedat-, past participle stem of sedare, causative of sedere "to sit" (see sedentary). The noun derivative meaning "a sedative drug" is attested from 1785. Hence, "whatever soothes or allays."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sedatives in Medicine

sedative sed·a·tive (sěd'ə-tĭv)
Having a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect; reducing or relieving anxiety, stress, irritability, or excitement. n.
An agent or a drug that produces a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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sedatives in Science
A drug having a calming or quieting effect, often given to reduce anxiety or to promote relaxation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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