pen·​to·​bar·​bi·​tal | \ ˌpen-tə-ˈbär-bə-ˌtȯl How to pronounce pentobarbital (audio) \

Definition of pentobarbital

: 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

While 31 states have the death penalty, more than half of executions in the U.S. this year were carried out by Texas, whose single-drug protocol uses a lethal dose of the barbiturate pentobarbital. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "Nebraska Set to Use Drug Cocktail That Includes Fentanyl in Execution Tuesday," 13 Aug. 2018 Since then, the state has endured legal challenges and difficulties finding execution drugs including its previous one, pentobarbital. Fox News, "Tennessee executes its first inmate in nearly a decade," 9 Aug. 2018 As a result, states looking to use pentobarbital in their procedures had to look elsewhere to buy the drug. Abdullah Shihipar, Teen Vogue, "Lethal Injection Drugs and the Death Penalty, Explained," 30 Oct. 2018 Lab results from tests of the ingredient in which pentobarbital was found confirmed the animal fat was sourced from cow, chicken, and pig, which are common sources in pet food. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "No dog in our dog food, Gravy Train maker says. But what about that euthanasia drug? | Miami Herald," 4 Mar. 2018 Carlton Gary, 67, is scheduled to die by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital on Thursday evening at the state prison in Jackson. Fox News, "'Stocking strangler' Carlton Gary to be executed Thursday in Georgia," 15 Mar. 2018 Currently, the state uses compounded pentobarbital for executions, as has been the protocol since 2011. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Media outlets fight to keep lethal injection court hearing open to public," 15 June 2018 His head was shaking slightly as the lethal dose of the sedative pentobarbital began. NBC News, "Texas executes convicted killer whose attorneys proposed firing squad," 28 June 2018 None of the 20 inmates executed since Missouri began using pentobarbital in 2013 have shown obvious signs of pain or suffering. Fox News, "Missouri man who killed ex's new boyfriend gets 2nd stay of execution," 20 Mar. 2018

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

1931, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pentobarbital

penta- + -o- + barbital

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pentobarbital

Share pentobarbital

Statistics for pentobarbital

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pentobarbital

The first known use of pentobarbital was in 1931

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pentobarbital


pen·​to·​bar·​bi·​tal | \ ˌpent-ə-ˈbär-bə-ˌtȯl How to pronounce pentobarbital (audio) \

Medical Definition of pentobarbital

: a granular barbiturate used especially in the form of its sodium salt C11H17N2NaO3 or calcium salt (C11H17N2O3)2Ca as a sedative, hypnotic, and antispasmodic

More from Merriam-Webster on pentobarbital Encyclopedia article about pentobarbital

Comments on pentobarbital

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


the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!