acet·​amin·​o·​phen | \ ə-ˌsē-tə-ˈmi-nə-fən How to pronounce acetaminophen (audio) , ˌa-sə-tə- \

Definition of acetaminophen

: a crystalline compound C8H9NO2 that is a hydroxy derivative of acetanilide and is used in chemical synthesis and in medicine to relieve pain and fever

Examples of acetaminophen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Beijing’s lockdown cut off the production of chemicals that India uses to make generic drugs, prompting Indian suppliers to freeze exports of antibiotics and acetaminophen. Danielle Paquette, Washington Post, "The pandemic dealt a blow to global trade and revived an old dream: Self-reliance," 23 Dec. 2020 New London Pharmacy said one of its regular distributors stopped shipping Percocet, a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Fortune, "Patients struggle to access prescription opioids after New York tax drives away suppliers," 15 Nov. 2020 Another 67 out of 156 critical acute drugs -- including diazepam, phenobarbital, lidocaine and acetaminophen -- are in short supply, the report said. Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN, "Coronavirus pandemic is causing 'unacceptable' shortages in US drug supplies, report says," 22 Oct. 2020 One of the most common over-the-counter poisons is giving a pet acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Traci Howerton,, "Sago palms are deadly to pets: See symptoms of poisoning and list of other toxiic plants," 7 Oct. 2020 Conley did not say whether Trump had been given fever-reducing medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Maggie Fox, CNN, "Trump's doctors paint a rosy -- but vague -- picture of his health during Covid-19 treatment," 3 Oct. 2020 During a search, police found pills, which turned out to be an acetaminophen and hydrocodone mix. John Benson, cleveland, "Drunk, tired and speeding fisherman spends night in jail: North Royalton Police Blotter," 19 Aug. 2020 For children of any age, ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) work best when given as soon as a migraine starts. Emily Sohn, New York Times, "Yes, Kids Can Get Migraines. Here Are the Signs.," 14 May 2020 Patients should instead use acetaminophen, the active ingredient in drugs like Tylenol, per the health minister. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Do you really have to avoid ibuprofen because of coronavirus?," 19 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acetaminophen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acetaminophen

1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acetaminophen

acet(yl) + amino + phen(ol)

Note: Shortened from N-acetyl-p-aminophenol. Acetaminophen was introduced as a generic name roughly coincident with the introduction of the trademark preparation Tylenol, which was first marketed as "Children's Tylenol Elixir" in 1955 by McNeil Laboratories. Synthesis of the substance, as acetylamidophenol, was first reported in Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft, 11. Jahrgang (Jan.-Juni, 1878), p. 232-33 (H. N. Morse, "Ueber eine neue Darstellungsmethode der Acetylamidophenole"). Its antipyretic properties were recognized by the German physician Josef von Mering in the 1893 article "Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Antipyretica" (Therapeutische Monatshefte, 7, pp. 577-87)—he also refers to it as acetylamidophenol.

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The first known use of acetaminophen was in 1958

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acetaminophen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce acetaminophen (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of acetaminophen

US : a medicine that is used to relieve pain and fever


acet·​amin·​o·​phen | \ ə-ˌsēt-ə-ˈmin-ə-fən How to pronounce acetaminophen (audio) , ˌas-ət- How to pronounce acetaminophen (audio) \

Medical Definition of acetaminophen

: a crystalline compound C8H9NO2 that is a hydroxy derivative of acetanilide and is used in chemical synthesis and in medicine instead of aspirin to relieve pain and fever

called also paracetamol

— see liquiprin, panadol, tylenol

More from Merriam-Webster on acetaminophen

Nglish: Translation of acetaminophen for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about acetaminophen

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