bar·​bi·​tu·​rate | \ bär-ˈbi-chə-rət How to pronounce barbiturate (audio) , -ˌrāt; ˌbär-bə-ˈtyu̇r-ət, -ˈtu̇r-, -ˌāt; nonstandard bär-ˈbi-chə-wət\

Definition of barbiturate

1 : a salt or ester of barbituric acid
2 : any of various derivatives of barbituric acid (such as phenobarbital) that are used especially as sedatives, hypnotics, and antispasmodics and are often addictive

Examples of barbiturate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Nutt et al's expert panels rated barbiturates as the fourth most addictive substance. Eric Bowman, CNN, "The five most addictive substances in the world," 23 Jan. 2019 Like many performers at the time, Elvis was a heavy user of a number of prescription medications including opiates, barbiturates, and sedatives. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Inside the Enduring Mysteries of Elvis Presley's Death," 16 Mar. 2019 The state says drug makers stopped selling that barbiturate for lethal injections. Fox News, "Tennessee executes its first inmate in nearly a decade," 9 Aug. 2018 The toxicological analysis determined the cause of death: acute barbiturate poisoning. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Complete History of the Autopsy," 26 Dec. 2018 While 31 states have the death penalty, more than half of executions in the U.S. this year were carried out by Texas, whose single-drug protocol uses a lethal dose of the barbiturate pentobarbital. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "Nebraska Set to Use Drug Cocktail That Includes Fentanyl in Execution Tuesday," 13 Aug. 2018 Sodium thiopental, the barbiturate used in the injection that killed Brooks, and pancuronium bromide are typically used in medical settings to anesthetize patients — they were not designed for use in lethal injection procedures. Abdullah Shihipar, Teen Vogue, "Lethal Injection Drugs and the Death Penalty, Explained," 30 Oct. 2018 That winter, my mother checked into a psychiatric hospital in Connecticut to negotiate her withdrawal from Seconal, a barbiturate she’d been prescribed as a sleeping pill. Fernanda Eberstadt, Vogue, "Wild, Free, and Utterly Lost—Writer Fernanda Eberstadt on the Panic and Pitfalls of Post-Collegiate Life," 30 July 2018 Amid speculation about its ability to carry out the flurry of new executions on the calendar, state records show the Texas prison system in recent weeks received 15 more doses of the powerful barbiturate used in its Huntsville death chamber. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "With 7 execution dates on the calendar, Texas just got more lethal injection drugs," 6 July 2018

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

1868, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near barbiturate





barbituric acid



Statistics for barbiturate

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for barbiturate

The first known use of barbiturate was in 1868

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English Language Learners Definition of barbiturate

medical : any of various drugs that are used to calm people or to make them sleep


bar·​bi·​tu·​rate | \ bär-ˈbich-ə-rət How to pronounce barbiturate (audio) , -ˌrāt; ˌbär-bə-ˈt(y)u̇r-ət How to pronounce barbiturate (audio) , -ˈt(y)u̇(ə)r-ˌāt\

Medical Definition of barbiturate

1 : a salt or ester of barbituric acid
2 : any of various derivatives of barbituric acid (as phenobarbital) that are used especially as sedatives, hypnotics, and antispasmodics and are often addictive

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with barbiturate

Spanish Central: Translation of barbiturate

Nglish: Translation of barbiturate for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about barbiturate

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