re·​ser·​pine ri-ˈsər-ˌpēn How to pronounce reserpine (audio)
: an alkaloid C33H40N2O9 that is extracted especially from the root of rauwolfias and is used chiefly in the treatment of hypertension and sometimes in the treatment of agitation associated with mental illness (such as schizophrenia)

Examples of reserpine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But there was only one clinical trial to compare reserpine to a placebo with depressed patients. Carlin Flora, Discover Magazine, 8 June 2010 Others include reserpine, an anti-hypertensive and rimonabant, a weight-loss drug (it got banned for this reason). Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 17 May 2011

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

Word History


German Reserpin, probably irregular from New Latin Rauwolfia serpentina, a species of rauwolfia

First Known Use

1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of reserpine was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near reserpine

Cite this Entry

“Reserpine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition


ri-ˈsər-ˌpēn also ˈres-ər-pən
: an alkaloid C33H40N2O9 extracted especially from the root of rauwolfias and used in the treatment of hypertension, mental illness, and tension states see raudixin, sandril, serpasil

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