demulcent

1 of 2

adjective

de·​mul·​cent di-ˈməl-sənt How to pronounce demulcent (audio)

demulcent

2 of 2

noun

: a usually mucilaginous or oily substance (such as tragacanth) that can soothe or protect an abraded mucous membrane

Did you know?

Demulcent derives from the Latin verb demulcēre, meaning "to soothe." Demulcēre in turn comes from a combination of the prefix de- and mulcēre, an earlier verb that also means "to soothe." As an adjective, demulcent often applies to the soothing nature of some medicines, but you can also use it to describe such things as a soothing voice or a soothing demeanor. The noun demulcent is used for a gelatinous or oily substance that is capable of soothing inflamed or abraded mucous membranes and protecting them from further irritation.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Latin demulcent-, demulcens, present participle of demulcēre to soothe, from de- + mulcēre to soothe

First Known Use

Adjective

1732, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1732, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of demulcent was in 1732

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Dictionary Entries Near demulcent

Cite this Entry

“Demulcent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/demulcent. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

demulcent

1 of 2 adjective
de·​mul·​cent di-ˈməl-sᵊnt How to pronounce demulcent (audio)
: tending to soothe or soften
demulcent expectorants which give a protective coating to the throatTherapeutic Notes

demulcent

2 of 2 noun
: a usually mucilaginous or oily substance (as tragacanth) capable of soothing or protecting an abraded mucous membrane
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