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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from depressant

depressant adjective

Examples of depressant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial against depression, both on their own and when taken in conjunction with anti-depressant medications. Orthocincy,, "Benefits of eating fish," 19 June 2018 For instance, in fibromyalgia, a disorder with widespread pain of the muscles and bones, the first-line medications include anti-depressants and anti-epileptic drugs, which regulate brain chemistry thought to exacerbate pain. Sandy Bauers,, "Can we relieve suffering, avoid drug misuse - and not become 'opioid phobic'?," 15 June 2018 Some of these changes may be characterized by decreased inhibition (e.g., aggressiveness and extroversion that seemed out of character), similar to effects produced by alcohol and other CNS depressants. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Biogen escapes a compulsory license; could Ambien cause racist tweeting?," 30 May 2018 Anti-convulsant and anti-depressant medications can work to block the electrical pain receptors in your brain. Paige Mclaughlin,, "Q&A: How can I manage my back and neck pain without opioid medications?," 7 Apr. 2018 There’s a growing and confusing group of studies looking at the effect of anti-depressants during pregnancy. Alice Park, Time, "Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy May Lead to Fetal Brain Changes," 9 Apr. 2018 An autopsy revealed Brzyski suffered from heart disease and was full of vodka and anti-depressants at the time of his death. CBS News, "Investigation reveals secret life of pedophile priest James Brzyski," 6 Feb. 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.

See More

First Known Use of depressant

1876, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about depressant

Share depressant

Statistics for depressant

Last Updated

27 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for depressant

The first known use of depressant was in 1876

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on depressant

What made you want to look up depressant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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