pain·​kill·​er ˈpān-ˌki-lər How to pronounce painkiller (audio)
variants or less commonly pain-killer
: something (such as a drug) that relieves pain
pain-killing adjective
or painkilling

Examples of painkiller in a Sentence

I took some over-the-counter painkillers for my headache. after her oral surgery, she was given a prescription for a mild painkiller
Recent Examples on the Web In northern Gaza, where Israel has focused its ground offensive, doctors last week had already run out of anesthetic and painkillers for operations. Sarah Dadouch, Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2023 Research suggests that may include antibiotics and antifungal drugs used to treat serious infections, synthetic hormones used in Plan B emergency contraception and even ibuprofen, the common painkiller sold as Advil. Jonel Aleccia, Fortune Well, 7 Nov. 2023 The store passed off tablets made of illicit fentanyl as the legitimate painkillers Jonathan needed to treat his severe migraines. Connor Sheets, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2023 On the brink of collapse, hospitals have run out of painkillers and many Gazans are beginning to suffer from severe dehydration due to lack of drinking water, according to medical NGO Medecins sans Frontieres. Helen Regan, CNN, 16 Oct. 2023 People maimed in the bombing are being treated for horrific injuries without basics such as gauze dressings, antiseptic, IV bags and painkillers. Yara M. Asi, Fortune, 14 Oct. 2023 Just don't give it to your baby beforehand in an effort to head off their agony, since there's no data that preventive painkillers work, says Dr. Benaroch. Rachel Rabkin Peachman, Parents, 21 Sep. 2023 Sambora, who overcame an addiction to painkillers and an over-reliance on alcohol after stints in rehab in 2007 and 2011, also told PEOPLE that the touring lifestyle eventually took its toll on him. Alex Cramer, Peoplemag, 5 Nov. 2023 As the fentanyl crisis has grown, overdose deaths have climbed in recent years, and L.A. County has become a major fentanyl distribution hub for Mexican drug cartels, which push counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, often disguised to look like prescription painkillers. Jeremy Childs, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'painkiller.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of painkiller was in 1849

Dictionary Entries Near painkiller

Cite this Entry

“Painkiller.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pain·​kill·​er ˈpān-ˌkil-ər How to pronounce painkiller (audio)
: something (as a drug) that relieves pain
painkilling adjective

Medical Definition


pain·​kill·​er -ˌkil-ər How to pronounce painkiller (audio)
: something (as a drug) that relieves pain
painkilling adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on painkiller

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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