tran·​quil·​ize | \ ˈtraŋ-kwə-ˌlīz How to pronounce tranquilize (audio) , ˈtran-\
variants: or less commonly tranquillize
tranquilized also tranquillized; tranquilizing also tranquillizing

Definition of tranquilize

transitive verb

: to make tranquil or calm : pacify especially : to relieve of mental tension and anxiety by means of drugs

intransitive verb

1 : to become tranquil : relax sense 1
2 : to make one tranquil

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Synonyms & Antonyms for tranquilize


becalm, calm, compose, lull, lullaby, quiet, quieten [chiefly British], salve, settle, soothe, still


agitate, discompose, disquiet, disturb, key (up), perturb, upset, vex

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Examples of tranquilize in a Sentence

They tranquilized the bear with a dart so that it could be safely moved to a different area. at long last the crying baby was tranquilized by the steady rocking of her cradle

Recent Examples on the Web

His plan was to tranquilize Hillary, with the help of a veterinarian friend, and take her by boat and truck to a refuge in Vacaville that had agreed to look after her. Steve Rubenstein,, "Stranded donkey has plenty to bray about — former cop wants to rescue her," 8 Aug. 2019 It was tranquilized in a coordinated effort between UND police and staff from the Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton. Mike Mcfeely, Twin Cities, "N.D. wildlife officials opposed drugging UND moose, citing consumption risk to hunters," 6 Sep. 2019 Last fall, forestry officials launched a military-style operation, deploying drones, thermal cameras, hundreds of officers and veterinarian sharpshooters mounted on the backs of elephants, to tranquilize the tiger. New York Times, "Tiger Is Beaten to Death on Video, Outraging India," 26 July 2019 Further attempts to usher the bear out went unsuccessful and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department was called in to tranquilize the animal so it could be safely removed. Fox News, "Black bear finds its way inside Montana home: 'He was tired and climbed up into the closet for a nap'," 22 June 2019 Hassell’s album is tranquilizing — like benzos but nonaddictive. Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, "The best music to help you fall asleep," 26 July 2019 But an angry dad was fortunately tranquilized by his annoyed but composed 12-year-old. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Your Say: Racism in America," 26 July 2019 The confused cat eventually was tranquilized amid a community furor and released in the hills, but he was later killed trying to cross Interstate 280. Peter Fimrite,, "Fearsome mountain lions high-tail it out of there when they hear human voices," 17 July 2019 Their journey will mark the biggest single transport of rhinos from Europe to Africa. Transporting them won’t be easy, and the animals will have to be tranquilized several times during the trip. Karel Janicek,, "Endangered rhinos ready to be sent from Europe to Rwanda," 20 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of tranquilize

1623, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for tranquilize

Last Updated

26 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for tranquilize

The first known use of tranquilize was in 1623

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More Definitions for tranquilize



English Language Learners Definition of tranquilize

: to use a drug to cause (a person or animal) to become very relaxed and calm


transitive verb
variants: or chiefly British tranquillize or tranquillise \ ˈtraŋ-​kwə-​ˌlīz, ˈtran-​ How to pronounce tranquillise (audio) \
tranquilized or chiefly British tranquilized or tranquilised; tranquilizing or chiefly British tranquilizing or tranquilising

Medical Definition of tranquilize

: to make tranquil or calm especially : to relieve of mental tension and anxiety by means of drugs

Other Words from tranquilize

tranquilization or chiefly British tranquillization or tranquillisation \ ˌtraŋ-​kwə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən, ˌtran-​ How to pronounce tranquillisation (audio) \ noun

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Comments on tranquilize

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