phe·​no·​bar·​bi·​tal | \ ˌfē-nō-ˈbär-bə-ˌtȯl How to pronounce phenobarbital (audio) \

Definition of phenobarbital

: a crystalline barbiturate C12H12N2O3 used as a hypnotic, sedative, and anticonvulsant

Examples of phenobarbital in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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,, 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 Mandell’s 5-year-old Labradoodle, Frankie Feldman, was diagnosed with the disorder last year and put on phenobarbital and Keppra by his vet. Susan Spillman, Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phenobarbital.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of phenobarbital

1919, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About phenobarbital

Time Traveler for phenobarbital

Time Traveler

The first known use of phenobarbital was in 1919

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near phenobarbital




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for phenobarbital

Cite this Entry

“Phenobarbital.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for phenobarbital


phe·​no·​bar·​bi·​tal | \ ˌfē-nō-ˈbär-bə-ˌtȯl, -tȧl How to pronounce phenobarbital (audio) \

Medical Definition of phenobarbital

: 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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!