anes·​the·​tize | \ ə-ˈnes-thə-ˌtīz How to pronounce anesthetize (audio) , British -ˈnēs- \
anesthetized; anesthetizing

Definition of anesthetize

transitive verb

: to subject to anesthesia

Examples of anesthetize in a Sentence

The doctor anesthetized the patient by an intravenous injection. She was anesthetized before the operation.
Recent Examples on the Web Attempts to anesthetize or trap the animals were unsuccessful. James Griffiths, CNN, 25 May 2021 The crew pumped carbon dioxide into the tree during the nest removal to anesthetize the hornets. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, 11 Nov. 2020 When the hornets stopped coming out of the nest, the team pumped carbon dioxide into the tree to kill or anesthetize any remaining hornets. CBS News, 28 Oct. 2020 Yet as Etty understood so well, the temptation to shut it all out, to anesthetize, is ever-present. Elizabeth Svoboda, Longreads, 30 Apr. 2020 The zoo had to anesthetize the two-hundred-pound cat and take samples from her nose, throat, and respiratory tract, then ship them off to veterinary labs at Cornell University and the University of Illinois. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 18 May 2020 If supplies run low, the guidance recommends substituting one type of pain medication for another in short supply, reusing protective gear, and turning machines that anesthetize patients into ventilators. Mallory Moench,, 22 Apr. 2020 According to SASH’s statement posted with the video, the team anesthetized the large reptile before taking radiographs to find where the towel was exactly in her body. Cady Lang, Time, 28 Feb. 2020 Etorphine—an opioid about 1,000 times more potent than morphine—is the preferred anesthetizing agent, but some giraffes resist doses that would knock out an elephant. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 13 Mar. 2020

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

1848, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for anesthetize

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The first known use of anesthetize was in 1848

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Statistics for anesthetize

Last Updated

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anesthetize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for anesthetize



English Language Learners Definition of anesthetize

medical : to give drugs to (a patient) so that no pain can be felt : to give an anesthetic to (a patient)


transitive verb
variants: or chiefly British anaesthetize also anaesthetise \ -​thə-​ˌtīz How to pronounce anesthetize (audio) \
anesthetized or chiefly British anesthetized also anesthetised; anesthetizing or chiefly British anesthetizing also anesthetising

Medical Definition of anesthetize

: to subject to anesthesia

Other Words from anesthetize

anesthetization or chiefly British anaesthetization also anaesthetisation \ ə-​ˌnes-​thət-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən, British -​ˌnēs-​ \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on anesthetize

Nglish: Translation of anesthetize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anesthetize for Arabic Speakers


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