phenobarbital

noun

phe·​no·​bar·​bi·​tal ˌfē-nō-ˈbär-bə-ˌtȯl How to pronounce phenobarbital (audio)
: a crystalline barbiturate C12H12N2O3 used as a hypnotic, sedative, and anticonvulsant

Examples of phenobarbital in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Blood tests found traces of sedatives, including phenobarbital and benzodiazepines, in at least eight children at a private kindergarten in New Taipei City, according to the local Education Department. Riley Zhang, NBC News, 21 June 2023 As an infant, he was given phenobarbital, a highly addictive barbiturate. Sarah Hepola, Rolling Stone, 31 Oct. 2023 The city Health Department said Monday that four doctors had been found to have improperly given children drugs containing phenobarbital. Riley Zhang, NBC News, 21 June 2023 Kindergarten teachers in Taiwan have been accused of drugging their students after blood tests found traces of sedatives, including phenobarbital and benzodiazepines, in at least eight children. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 21 June 2023 Additionally, medications like phenobarbital, for example, have also been shown in some people to cause depression. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 10 May 2023 In separate groups, Applewhite and his followers mixed the barbiturate phenobarbital into applesauce and washed it down with a swig of vodka, tying plastic bags over their heads to assure asphyxiation. Mary Ellen Cagnassola, PEOPLE.com, 26 Mar. 2022 The case of Brandon Bernard, who received a lethal injection of phenobarbital at a U.S. prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, was a rare execution of a person who was in his teens when his crime was committed. The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Dec. 2020 That Barr, Sessions, and their underlings got Trump to kill so many people, so fast, and with such opacity around the sourcing of the drugs involved, particularly the controversial phenobarbital, bespeaks a deep, strange problem in America. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, 11 Jan. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'phenobarbital.' 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

1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phenobarbital was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near phenobarbital

Cite this Entry

“Phenobarbital.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phenobarbital. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

phenobarbital

noun
phe·​no·​bar·​bi·​tal ˌfē-nō-ˈbär-bə-ˌtȯl How to pronounce phenobarbital (audio)
: a drug that is a barbiturate used to calm one down and cause sleep

Medical Definition

phenobarbital

noun
phe·​no·​bar·​bi·​tal ˌfē-nō-ˈbär-bə-ˌtȯl, -tȧl How to pronounce phenobarbital (audio)
: a crystalline barbiturate C12H12N2O3 that is used orally or is administered by injection in the form of its sodium salt C12H11N2NaO3 as a hypnotic and sedative see luminal
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