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 As part of the DOJ addendum last year, Barr directed the federal government to change the cocktail of three drugs used for federal executions to just a single drug: phenobarbital, a barbiturate that in high doses causes respiratory arrest. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Justice Department schedules first federal executions since 2003 for convicted child murderers," 15 June 2020 Her doctors alternated trips to her bedside, emptying fat syringes full of the barbiturate Thiobarbital into an IV line into her neck. Lynsey Addario, New York Times, "The Personal Toll of Photographing a Story About Euthanasia," 5 Dec. 2019 Her father, who had long abused barbiturates and alcohol, killed himself, on his second try, in 1959. Elsa Dixler,, "Patricia Bosworth, actress-turned-author, 86," 5 Apr. 2020 The Garland Zellweger plays is far from the Garland of her prime, but rather at a kind of nadir near the end, less than a year before her 1969 death at age 47 at the hands of the barbiturates she was addicted to. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Don’t call ‘Judy’ Renee Zellweger’s ‘comeback.’ It’s just one of her best performances ever," 26 Sep. 2019 The lawyers are seeking the judgment because Newsom withdrew the state’s plan to use a single injection of powerful barbiturates and ordered the state’s death chamber to be symbolically dismantled. Washington Post, "Court won’t block death penalty trials despite moratorium," 12 Sep. 2019 The children survived the attack but Perelson later killed himself by overdosing on barbiturates, the Los Angeles Times reports. Harriet Sokmensuer,, "Holiday Season Murders: Laci Peterson, JonBenét Ramsey and Other Disturbing Crimes," 30 Dec. 2019 Pentobarbital, a barbiturate that can be used as a sedative and as an anti-seizure medication, is commonly used by veterinarians to euthanize animals. Rita Giordano,, "Veterinarians — beset by stress, death and debt — are dying by suicide at high rates," 15 Oct. 2019 Later that year, Garland would die of a barbiturate overdose. Elena Nicolaou,, "What Made Judy Garland’s Life So Tragic," 29 Jan. 2020

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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The first known use of barbiturate was in 1868

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Barbiturate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce barbiturate (audio)

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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