pen·​to·​bar·​bi·​tal ˌpen-tə-ˈbär-bə-ˌtȯl How to pronounce pentobarbital (audio)
: a granular barbiturate C11H18N2O3 used especially in the form of its sodium or calcium salt as a sedative, hypnotic, and antispasmodic

Examples of pentobarbital in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those include new legal claims of cruel and unusual punishment over the eight times the execution team tried unsuccessfully to establish an IV in Creech’s body to administer the pentobarbital. Kevin Fixler, Idaho Statesman, 29 May 2024 He was pronounced dead at 6:11 p.m. local time at the state prison in Bonne Terre after a single-dose injection of the sedative pentobarbital, said Missouri Department of Corrections spokesperson Karen Pojmann. Dennis Romero, NBC News, 9 Apr. 2024 Georgia uses the sedative pentobarbital in lethal injections, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Andrew Jeong, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 Creech's attorneys with the Federal Defender Services of Idaho said in a statement that state officials tried and failed 10 times to access veins in both of his arms and legs to inject him with the lethal injection drug pentobarbital. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 28 Feb. 2024 In each case, the out-of-state compounding pharmacy that sold pentobarbital to Idaho prison officials had dubious regulatory records. Kevin Fixler, Idaho Statesman, 26 Mar. 2024 Authorities say 59-year-old Willie James Pye was pronounced dead at 11:03 p.m. Wednesday evening following an injection of the sedative pentobarbital. CBS News, 20 Mar. 2024 He is scheduled to be executed using the sedative pentobarbital at 7 p.m. local time, according to the state's Office of the Attorney General. Christopher Cann, USA TODAY, 20 Mar. 2024 Prison officials in the fall acquired the manufactured liquid pentobarbital, a powerful sedative that can stop a person’s breathing in higher doses, to use in executing Creech. Kevin Fixler, Idaho Statesman, 26 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


penta- + -o- + barbital

First Known Use

1931, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pentobarbital was in 1931

Dictionary Entries Near pentobarbital

Cite this Entry

“Pentobarbital.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


pen·​to·​bar·​bi·​tal ˌpent-ə-ˈbär-bə-ˌtȯl How to pronounce pentobarbital (audio)
: a granular barbiturate used especially in the form of its sodium salt C11H17N2NaO3 or calcium salt (C11H17N2O3)2Ca as a sedative, hypnotic, and antispasmodic

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