Any drug that excites any bodily function; usually one that stimulates the central nervous system, inducing alertness, elevated mood, wakefulness, increased speech and motor activity, and decreased appetite. Their mood-elevating effects make some stimulants (e.g., amphetamines, caffeine and its relatives, cocaine, nicotine) potent drugs of abuse (see drug addiction). Ritalin, prescribed for attention deficit disorder in children, is a mild stimulant.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.For the full entry on stimulant, visit Britannica.com.
What made you look up stimulant? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.