an·​es·​the·​sia | \ ˌa-nəs-ˈthē-zhə How to pronounce anesthesia (audio) \

Definition of anesthesia

1 : loss of sensation with or without loss of consciousness The patient was given intravenous medication to induce anesthesia. … doctors freeze the tumor with little coils filled with liquid nitrogen that are inserted in the prostate under anesthesia.— Andy Grove Awareness during anesthesia is a serious complication with potential long-term psychological consequences.— Michael S. Avidan et al. We often radiograph dogs when they are under anesthesia for spaying or neutering or other routine procedures.— Bonnie Wilcox — see also general anesthesia, local anesthesia
2 : an agent that produces anesthesia : anesthetic A capnometer measures the amount of carbon dioxide in exhaled air, thereby insuring that the tubes bringing oxygen and anesthesia to the patient are properly placed.— Lisa Belkin She was still groggy from her anesthesia, and she had an I.V. tube in her arm.The New Yorker These substances [=endorphins], which have been identified in recent years through research on brain chemistry, act as a natural anesthesia that can lessen extreme pain.— Norman Cousins … the baby emerges while the woman is unconscious, under a general anesthesia such as ether or nitrous oxide.— Deborah Tanzer

Examples of anesthesia in a Sentence

The patient was given an injection to induce anesthesia.

Recent Examples on the Web

Local anesthesia is required when undergoing a veneer application. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "What to Consider Before Getting Veneers on Your Teeth," 28 Feb. 2019 As the local anesthesia wears off, the pain may start to creep in. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "What to Know Before, During, and After Your Gum Graft Surgery," 11 Mar. 2019 Shannon was put under anesthesia, and Evan performed the surgery with another doctor. Amy Paturel, Good Housekeeping, "When People Ask Me How Many Children I Have, I Don't Know What to Say," 26 Dec. 2018 The entire process only takes about 20 minutes and is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "'Selfie awareness' has millennials turning to double chin removal procedures," 21 Sep. 2018 The calf’s arrival marks the first birth of an oryx to be conceived through artificial insemination without the need for risky anesthesia. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "New Artificial Insemination Technique Successfully Breeds Critically Endangered Scimitar-Horned Oryx," 10 July 2018 He was treated for an overdose of ketamine, a powerful medication used for anesthesia, according to the ruling. J.d. Capelouto,, "Federal judge tosses case of man on ketamine who sued Bellingham police after wild melee at station," 29 June 2018 Fentanyl is an opioid used as pain medication and for anesthesia. Marco Santana,, "UCF researcher gets $1 million grant to help protect emergency personnel from opioids," 28 June 2018 One Inquirer reader reported being charged twice for anesthesia. Sarah Gantz,, "Patient beware: Insurance covers colonoscopies in full - except when it doesn't," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anesthesia.' 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 anesthesia

circa 1721, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anesthesia

New Latin, from Greek anaisthēsia insensibility, from a- + aisthēsis perception, from aisthanesthai to perceive — more at audible

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Statistics for anesthesia

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for anesthesia

The first known use of anesthesia was circa 1721

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English Language Learners Definition of anesthesia

medical : loss of feeling in a person's body or part of the body through the use of drugs


an·​es·​the·​sia | \ ˌa-nəs-ˈthē-zhə How to pronounce anesthesia (audio) \

Kids Definition of anesthesia

: loss of feeling in all or part of the body with or without loss of consciousness The patient was given an injection before surgery to produce anesthesia.


variants: or chiefly British anaesthesia \ ˌan-​əs-​ˈthē-​zhə How to pronounce anaesthesia (audio) \

Medical Definition of anesthesia

1 : loss of sensation especially to touch usually resulting from a lesion in the nervous system or from some other abnormality
2 : loss of sensation and usually of consciousness without loss of vital functions artificially produced by the administration of one or more agents that block the passage of pain impulses along nerve pathways to the brain

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anesthesia

Spanish Central: Translation of anesthesia

Nglish: Translation of anesthesia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anesthesia for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about anesthesia

Comments on anesthesia

What made you want to look up anesthesia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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