1

anodyne

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adjective an·o·dyne \ˈa-nə-ˌdīn\

Definition of anodyne

  1. 1 :  serving to alleviate pain the anodyne properties of certain drugs

  2. 2 :  not likely to offend or arouse tensions :  innocuous … his speech contained a single anodyne reference to the man who preceded him. — John F. Burns

anodyne was our Word of the Day on 11/11/2014. Hear the podcast!

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


2

anodyne

noun an·o·dyne

Definition of anodyne

  1. 1 :  something that soothes, calms, or comforts The sweetness of sojourn there … was an anodyne for the sorrows the pilgrims had endured … — Amy Kelly

  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

Origin and Etymology of anodyne

see 1anodyne


First Known Use: circa 1550


ANODYNE Defined for English Language Learners

1

anodyne

play
adjective an·o·dyne \ˈa-nə-ˌdīn\

Definition of anodyne for English Language Learners

  • : not likely to offend or upset anyone


Medical Dictionary

1

anodyne

play
adjective an·o·dyne \ˈan-ə-ˌdīn\

Medical Definition of anodyne

  1. :  serving to ease pain


2

anodyne

noun an·o·dyne

Medical Definition of anodyne

  1. :  a drug that allays pain



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