an·​xi·​o·​lyt·​ic ˌaŋ-zē-ō-ˈli-tik How to pronounce anxiolytic (audio)
: a drug that relieves anxiety
anxiolytic adjective

Examples of anxiolytic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What are benzodiazepines? Benzodiazepines are a class of anti-anxiety medications, or anxiolytics, that increase the activity of the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors in the brain. Arash Javanbakht, The Conversation, 18 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'anxiolytic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French anxiolytique, adjective, from anxiété anxiety + -o- -o- + -lytique -lytic

First Known Use

1963, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anxiolytic was in 1963

Dictionary Entries Near anxiolytic

Cite this Entry

“Anxiolytic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 noun
anx·​io·​lyt·​ic ˌaŋ-zē-ō-ˈlit-ik How to pronounce anxiolytic (audio) ˌaŋ(k)-sē- How to pronounce anxiolytic (audio)
: a drug that relieves anxiety


2 of 2 adjective
: relieving anxiety

More from Merriam-Webster on anxiolytic

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!