an·​ti·​his·​ta·​mine | \ -ˈhis-tə-ˌmēn How to pronounce antihistamine (audio) , -mən\

Definition of antihistamine

: any of various compounds that counteract histamine in the body and that are used for treating allergic reactions (such as hay fever) and cold symptoms

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Other Words from antihistamine

antihistamine adjective
antihistaminic \ -​ˌhis-​tə-​ˈmi-​nik How to pronounce antihistaminic (audio) \ adjective or noun

Examples of antihistamine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Nor does an antibiotic or an antihistamine leave a patient permanently altered. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, "The Promise and Price of Cellular Therapies," 15 July 2019 The main ingredient in that fast-acting antihistamine is diphenhydramine hydrochloride (DPH). Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Bad Is It to Take an Antihistamine to Sleep Every Night?," 13 Dec. 2018 Allegra is also less likely to dry you out than other antihistamines. Barbara Brody, Woman's Day, "New OTC Allergy Option," 23 Mar. 2011 So, why is one drug marketed as an antihistamine and one marketed as a sleep aid? Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Bad Is It to Take an Antihistamine to Sleep Every Night?," 13 Dec. 2018 Those may be nasal sprays to reduce congestion, oral antihistamines to combat that frustrating chemical response, or a quick-relief inhaler in case certain allergens give you asthma attacks. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "13 Ways to Triumph Over Fall Allergies," 13 Nov. 2018 As far as medication goes, Tylenol or a generic equivalent, an anti-inflammatory such as aspirin, an antihistamine such as Benadryl and diarrhea medication would be sufficient for most short-term needs. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "The 7 Best First Aid Kits For Any Situation," 26 July 2018 This puffiness associated with allergies can be treated fairly easily with over-the-counter antihistamine meds, as well as nightly cold compresses to reduce swelling. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "8 Reasons Your Eyes Look Tired That Have Nothing to Do With Sleep—and What You Can Do," 11 Sep. 2018 So can applying a hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion (to ease inflammation and irritation) and taking an oral antihistamine (to combat your body’s release of histamine, the chemical involved in allergic reactions). Korin Miller, SELF, "7 Tips to Prevent Bee and Wasp Stings When Exploring the Great Outdoors," 10 Oct. 2018

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

1933, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for antihistamine

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antihistamine

The first known use of antihistamine was in 1933

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More Definitions for antihistamine



English Language Learners Definition of antihistamine

medical : a drug that is used to treat allergic reactions and colds


an·​ti·​his·​ta·​mine | \ ˌant-i-ˈhis-tə-ˌmēn, ˌan-ˌtī-, -mən How to pronounce antihistamine (audio) \

Medical Definition of antihistamine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: tending to block or counteract the physiological action of histamine human blood lacks antihistamine activity



Medical Definition of antihistamine (Entry 2 of 2)

: any of various compounds that oppose the actions of histamine and are used especially for treating allergic reactions (as hay fever), cold symptoms, and motion sickness

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Comments on antihistamine

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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