an·​ti·​de·​pres·​sant | \ ˌan-tē-di-ˈpre-sᵊnt How to pronounce antidepressant (audio) , ˌan-ˌtī- How to pronounce antidepressant (audio) \

Definition of antidepressant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: used or tending to relieve or prevent depression antidepressant drugs



Definition of antidepressant (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of antidepressant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Approximately 40 percent of patients with depression had ongoing symptoms after four antidepressant treatments prior to the approval of Esketamine in the largest-ever depression study called Star*D study in 2006, said Dr. Macaluso. al, 27 June 2021 The fact that the antidepressant effect is so much larger than in facial feedback experiments is not cause for concern, Krüger says. Cathleen O’grady, Science | AAAS, 24 June 2021 When British researchers compared two psilocybin treatments to a daily regimen of the antidepressant Lexapro, the psychedelic worked just as well. Meryl Davids Landau, Good Housekeeping, 10 June 2021 In a new study published this week in the open-access journal Ecosphere, crayfish exposed to low levels of the antidepressant citalopram, also known as Celexa, altered their behavior and became more bold and adventurous. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 June 2021 For one, psychedelics (with the exception of MDMA) lock onto serotonin receptors in the brain known as 5-HT2A (more specific than those targeted by antidepressant medicines such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Meryl Davids Landau, Good Housekeeping, 10 June 2021 The risk of suicide is the greatest during the first month of antidepressant treatment. Dr. Yalda Safai, ABC News, 13 Apr. 2021 Psychedelics are believed to produce their antidepressant effects by interfering with negative and isolating thought patterns, instead encouraging larger and more expansive feelings of connectedness with other people, nature, or both. Erin Brodwin, STAT, 18 Apr. 2021 The second group also took a daily dose of escitalopram — the generic version of the antidepressant Lexapro — a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI. Kaitlin Sullivan, NBC News, 14 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While members of the psychedelic cohort received 25 milligrams of psilocybin during the sessions, considered a medium-to-heavy dose of the drug, those in the antidepressant group received 1 milligram. Erin Brodwin, STAT, 18 Apr. 2021 Large effect sizes seen in small studies tend to disappear in larger trials—a trend seen even for today’s commonly used antidepressant medications, says Eiko Fried, a depression researcher at Leiden University. Cathleen O’grady, Science | AAAS, 24 June 2021 Doctors first looked into using laughing gas as an antidepressant in a 2015 proof-of-concept trial. Lydia Wang,, 11 June 2021 Compared to the control group, crustaceans exposed to low levels of the antidepressant were twice as likely to pop out of their shelters and explore their surroundings, reports Natalie Grover for the Guardian. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 June 2021 But now researchers will compare its effectiveness against ivermectin as well as fluvoxamine, an antidepressant. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, 21 May 2021 Yeah, this coffee had a weight loss drug and an antidepressant in it. Mike Wehner, BGR, 12 May 2021 Currently available antidepressant medications, like fluoxetine and duloxetine, affect the amount of neurotransmitters circulating in the brain, such as serotonin. Stav Dimitropoulos, SELF, 29 Apr. 2021 There is no more accessible, affordable and effective antidepressant than physically moving. Barton Goldsmith, Star Tribune, 12 Mar. 2021

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


1961, in the meaning defined above


1962, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of antidepressant was in 1961

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Last Updated

3 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Antidepressant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of antidepressant

medical : a drug that is used to relieve or prevent depression in a person


an·​ti·​de·​pres·​sant | \ ˌant-i-di-ˈpres-ᵊnt, ˌan-ˌtī- How to pronounce antidepressant (audio) \
variants: also antidepressive \ -​ˈpres-​iv How to pronounce antidepressant (audio) \

Medical Definition of antidepressant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: used or tending to relieve or prevent psychological depression : relating to, being, or utilizing an antidepressant an antidepressant drug antidepressant treatment


variants: also antidepressive

Medical Definition of antidepressant (Entry 2 of 2)

: a drug used to treat psychological depression : an antidepressant drug The dual-action antidepressant venlafaxine appears to demonstrate superior efficacy and higher rates of remission in severe depression as compared with either SSRIs such as fluoxetine or tricyclic antidepressants.— John Mann, The New England Journal of Medicine, 27 Oct. 2005

called also energizer, psychic energizer, psychostimulant

— see tricyclic antidepressant


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