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 pain-killing (audio) \ or painkilling adjective

Synonyms for painkiller


analgesic, anesthetic, anodyne

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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

He was sent home afterward with a prescription for an opioid painkiller. Washington Post, "Son’s opioid addiction subjects mom to goodbye after goodbye," 7 Sep. 2019 Drug developers are now investigating whether these receptors and others could be targeted to create nonopioid painkillers. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "What Chili Peppers Can Teach Us about Pain," 5 Sep. 2019 Canadians and Swedes were also far more likely to get codeine or tramadol — painkillers that work differently in the body and are considered weaker types of opioids. Julie Appleby, Los Angeles Times, "How the prescriptions doctors wrote may have helped fuel the U.S. opioid crisis," 4 Sep. 2019 Officers found two guns and two prescription painkillers in the truck. Adam Ferrise,, "Cleveland prosecutor declined to charge Mayor Frank Jackson’s grandson in beating of woman witnessed by others, records say," 3 Sep. 2019 The Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System found Husel ordered excessive painkillers for dozens of hospital patients who died. Fox News, "Ohio doctor accused of murdering 25 patients is set to face hearing," 29 Aug. 2019 The Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System found that Husel ordered excessive painkillers for about three dozen hospital patients who died over the past several years. NBC News, "Casey Anthony, Aaron Hernandez lawyer hired by Ohio doctor in opioid murder case," 28 Aug. 2019 In making his ruling, Judge Balkman said Johnson & Johnson bears responsibility for helping to fuel the state's opioid epidemic by aggressively marketing painkillers. CBS News, "Judge orders Johnson & Johnson to pay Oklahoma $572 million for fueling state's opioid crisis," 27 Aug. 2019 By 2015, at the height of the nation’s opioid epidemic, Johnson & Johnson was the leading supplier for the raw ingredients in painkillers in the United States. Katie Thomas, New York Times, "Johnson & Johnson’s Brand Falters Over Its Role in the Opioid Crisis," 27 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for painkiller

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for painkiller

The first known use of painkiller was in 1849

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More Definitions for painkiller



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 painkilling (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on painkiller

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


recurring in steady succession

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