de·​pres·​sant | \ di-ˈpre-sᵊnt , dē-\

Definition of depressant

: one that depresses specifically : an agent that reduces a bodily functional activity or an instinctive desire (such as appetite)

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Other Words from depressant

depressant adjective

Examples of depressant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But the reality is, alcohol can actually make your anxiety and depression worse, since booze is a depressant. Claire Gillespie, Glamour, "Self-Care Only Worked for Me When I Got Sober," 22 Dec. 2018 Berman also had traces of other medications in her system including oxycodone and anti-depressants. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Wife of ESPN's Chris Berman was intoxicated at time of fatal crash: report," 31 Aug. 2018 In fact, one out of every four women in America is taking an anti-depressant or other medicine to reduce depression and anxiety. Diane Maceachern, Country Living, "Women Are Less Stressed When Surrounded By Nature, According to Science," 1 Mar. 2017 Just because the two are linked doesn't mean that anti-depressants cause autism. Redbook, "Anti-Depressant Use During Pregnancy Linked to Autism: What's a Mom to Do?," 7 July 2011 Divorce filings from the parents of 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore showed that as a teenager he was hospitalized twice in psychiatric facilities and was prescribed anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications, the AP reported Monday. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Jacksonville gaming tournament shooter had been hospitalized for mental illness, documents show," 27 Aug. 2018 As a woman who is currently on anti-depressants and was on them during two of my five pregnancies, this shook me to the core. Redbook, "Anti-Depressant Use During Pregnancy Linked to Autism: What's a Mom to Do?," 7 July 2011 For those with chronic back pain, the first-line therapies include anti-inflammatories and anti-depressants. Sandy Bauers,, "Can we relieve suffering, avoid drug misuse - and not become 'opioid phobic'?," 15 June 2018 As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol has a wildly different effect on you than caffeine. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Actually Happens When You Combine Alcohol and Caffeine?," 29 June 2018

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

1876, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for depressant

The first known use of depressant was in 1876

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More Definitions for depressant



English Language Learners Definition of depressant

: a chemical substance (such as a drug) that makes a body's systems less active


de·​pres·​sant | \ di-ˈpre-sᵊnt \

Kids Definition of depressant

: a drug that slows the activity of the nervous system


de·​pres·​sant | \ -ᵊnt \

Medical Definition of depressant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: tending to depress especially : lowering or tending to lower functional or vital activity a drug with a depressant effect on heart rate



Medical Definition of depressant (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that depresses specifically : an agent that reduces bodily functional activity or an instinctive desire (as appetite) a depressant of intestinal spasm

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More from Merriam-Webster on depressant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with depressant

Spanish Central: Translation of depressant

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

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a servile follower or underling

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