pain·​kill·​er | \ ˈpān-ˌki-lər How to pronounce painkiller (audio) \
variants: or less commonly pain-killer

Definition of painkiller

: something (such as a drug) that relieves pain

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Other Words from painkiller

pain-killing \ ˈpān-​ˌki-​liŋ How to pronounce painkiller (audio) \ or painkilling adjective

Synonyms for painkiller


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Examples of painkiller in a Sentence

I took some over-the-counter painkillers for my headache. a lot of painkillers have turned out to be addictive substances for patients
Recent Examples on the Web Fueled by a rise in the powerful painkiller fentanyl, 621 overdose deaths were counted in San Francisco through November. Kurtis Alexander,, "Biggest Bay Area news stories of 2020? In a year ruled by pandemic, other important narratives broke out," 31 Dec. 2020 In Mark 15:23, Jesus is offered wine with myrrh before his crucifixion, because to be a painkiller, Swenson says. Time, "Here's What History Can Tell Us About the Magi," 29 Dec. 2020 The history of wrestling is replete with painkiller addictions, early deaths, and every other form of tragedy. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "A legendary 1989 WWF match in Anchorage is one of the last holy grails in pro wrestling," 28 Dec. 2020 Inside the parcel was 141 grams of fentanyl, a painkiller that has a high risk for addiction and can cause respiratory distress and death when taken in high doses or in combination with other drugs or alcohol. Lisa J. Huriash,, "Package sent through UPS contained fentanyl, police say," 18 Dec. 2020 Since then, Purdue Pharma LP has pleaded guilty to three federal felonies related to the marketing and distribution of its powerful opioid painkiller OxyContin. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "U.S. Sues Walmart, Alleging Role in Fueling Opioid Crisis," 22 Dec. 2020 Purdue Pharma, the company that invented the painkiller OxyContin, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three federal criminal charges and admitted its role in fueling the decades-long opioid epidemic that has taken hundreds of thousands of American lives. Steve Janoski, USA TODAY, "OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma admits role in opioid epidemic, pleads guilty to federal charges," 25 Nov. 2020 Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its addictive prescription painkiller OxyContin, capping a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve an investigation into the drugmaker’s role in the U.S. opioid crisis. NBC News, "OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to criminal charges," 24 Nov. 2020 Purdue officials have proposed turning over the company, which makes the controversial opioid painkiller OxyContin, to states and local governments along with as much as $3 billion in cash from members of the Sackler family. Jef Feeley,, "Purdue’s Sackler Family Gets Court Win on Opioid Settlement," 17 Nov. 2020

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

1849, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for painkiller

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The first known use of painkiller was in 1849

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Statistics for painkiller

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Painkiller.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for painkiller


How to pronounce painkiller (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of painkiller

: a drug that decreases or removes pain that you feel in your body


pain·​kill·​er | \ -ˌkil-ər How to pronounce painkiller (audio) \

Medical Definition of painkiller

: something (as a drug) that relieves pain

Other Words from painkiller

painkilling \ -​iŋ How to pronounce painkiller (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on painkiller

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