Definition of anesthetic in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌanəsˈTHedik/
(British anaesthetic)


1A substance that induces insensitivity to pain.
Example sentences
  • Supplements that have the potential to cause major complications in perioperative patients are those that prolong bleeding and those that increase sedative effects of anesthetics and analgesics.
  • We're getting very close to medical anaesthetics like halothane, though.
  • There was little difference in maternal safety between inhalational anaesthetics used for general anaesthesia.
2 (anesthetics) [treated as singular] The study or practice of anesthesia.
Example sentences
  • Those who work in paediatrics, anaesthetics and surgery work an average of 84 or 85 hours.
  • This generated what is called a ‘trauma call’ - the relevant hospital specialists from orthopaedics, surgery and anaesthetics were called to the department to await the arrival of the ambulance.
  • Among the services which board management are proposing to hit are radiology, anaesthetics, foster care and services for those with autism, addiction problems and disabilities.


Inducing or relating to insensitivity to pain.
Example sentences
  • We investigated mortality in a population of trauma patients who were intubated before reaching hospital without anaesthetic drugs being used.
  • It is also possible to induce anaesthesia with anaesthetic gases, breathed through a mask.
  • After relieving his pain with a quick nap induced by inhaled anesthetic gas, treatment with heat, fluids and antibiotics could be commenced.


Mid 19th century: from Greek anaisthētos 'insensible', related to anaisthēsia (see anesthesia), + -ic.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: an·es·thet·ic

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.