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Line breaks: seda|tive
Pronunciation: /ˈsɛdətɪv

Definition of sedative in English:


Promoting calm or inducing sleep: the seeds have a sedative effect
More example sentences
  • In most cases patients did not respond to the usual doses of antipsychotics and sedative agents.
  • Limited evidence from one animal study suggests that hops may potentiate the effects of sedative drugs.
  • Antihistamines are sometimes used but mainly for sedative effect.


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A drug taken for its calming or sleep-inducing effect: she won’t let them give her sedatives because of the baby a mild sedative
More example sentences
  • She had become dependent on a variety of drugs - sedatives, amphetamines and various narcotics, including heroin.
  • This strategy may prevent accumulation of sedatives by allowing the drugs to be eliminated between doses.
  • Another psychiatrist also gave her sedatives and sleeping pills.


late Middle English: from Old French sedatif or medieval Latin sedativus, from Latin sedat- 'settled', from the verb sedare (see sedate1).

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