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adjective an·o·dyne \ˈa-nə-ˌdīn\

Simple Definition of anodyne

  • : not likely to offend or upset anyone

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of anodyne

  1. 1 :  serving to alleviate pain

  2. 2 :  not likely to offend or arouse tensions :  innocuous

Examples of anodyne in a sentence

  1. <the otherwise anodyne comments sounded quite inflammatory when taken out of context>

Did You Know?

Anodyne came to English via Latin from Greek anōdynos ("without pain"), and it has been used as both an adjective and a noun ("something that relieves pain") since the 16th century. It has sometimes been used of things that dull or lull the senses and render painful experiences less so. Edmund Burke used it this way, for example, in 1790 when he referred to flattery as an "anodyne draft of oblivion" that renders one (in this particular case, the deposed king Louis XVI) forgetful of the flatterer's true feelings. In the 1930s, a newer second sense began appearing in our vocabulary. Now, in addition to describing things that dull pain, anodyne can also refer to that which doesn't cause discomfort in the first place.

Origin and Etymology of anodyne

Latin anodynos, from Greek anōdynos, from a- + odynē pain; probably akin to Old English etan to eat

First Known Use: 1543



noun an·o·dyne

Definition of anodyne

  1. 1 :  something that soothes, calms, or comforts <the anodyne of bridge, a comfortable book, or sport — Harrison Smith>

  2. 2 :  a drug that allays pain

Examples of anodyne in a sentence

  1. <the dentist prescribed an anodyne after the root canal>

  2. <as an anodyne for the stress and superficiality of the modern world, there's nothing better than reading a literary classic of substance and insight>

Circa 1550

First Known Use of anodyne

circa 1550

Rhymes with anodyne

aerodyne, agate line, alkaline, androgyne, anticline, Apennine, aquiline, argentine, asinine, auld lang syne, Aventine, Ballantyne, balloon vine, battle line, borderline, bottom-line, Byzantine, calamine, calcimine, Caroline, catarrhine, Catiline, celandine, centerline, cisalpine, claymore mine, clementine, colubrine, columbine, Columbine, concubine, conga line, contour line, Coppermine, coralline, countermine, countersign, credit line, crystalline, cytokine, dessert wine, disincline, dollar sign, down-the-line, draw the line, eglantine, endocrine, equal sign, Esquiline, exocrine, fescennine, finish line, firing line, Florentine, gas turbine, genuine, gregarine, infantine, interline, intertwine, iodine, Johannine, knotty pine, leonine, Levantine, Liechtenstein, limber pine, lubber line, minus sign, monkeyshine, morning line, muscadine, on deadline, on the line, opaline, palatine, Palatine, Palestine, party line, passerine, picket line, porcupine, psittacine, realign, redefine, redesign, riverine, saccharine, sapphirine, saturnine, second-line, serpentine, service line, sibylline, Siegfried line, sixty-nine, sounding line, subalpine, sparkling wine, static line, steam turbine, story line, table wine, Theatine, three-point line, timberline, toe the line, transalpine, Tridentine, turnverein, turpentine, underline, undermine, Ursuline, uterine, valentine, vespertine, viperine, vulturine, waterline, wind turbine, worry line

Medical Dictionary



adjective an·o·dyne \ˈan-ə-ˌdīn\

Medical Definition of anodyne

  1. :  serving to ease pain



noun an·o·dyne

Medical Definition of anodyne

  1. :  a drug that allays pain

Learn More about anodyne

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less dense or relating to a select group

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