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

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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

Example Sentences

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 Mandy said the priority is to tranquilize the tiger with a dart gun and return it to its enclosure safely. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 17 Jan. 2023 The simple answer would be to tranquilize the giant mammals and transport them back to the reserve. Susan Goldberg, National Geographic, 9 Dec. 2021 His version is a stunning double-shot of absinthe to which is added almost a full glass of Champagne, a nearly undrinkable concoction with enough alcohol to tranquilize a bull. Jason O'bryan, Robb Report, 30 Dec. 2022 Their goal was to tranquilize FP3 and replace the batteries in her tracking collar. Discover Magazine, 11 Feb. 2020 Some observers have suggested that officials hire sharpshooters to tranquilize them with darts, but animal experts said that’s not the safest idea. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 Ultimately, Raum-Suryan and others had to tranquilize the animal and took him back to the water via truck and front-end loader. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Oct. 2022 The bear had been sitting 50 feet up a pine tree as deputies waited below for bear trappers to come tranquilize it, a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office news release says, but the trappers didn’t arrive in time. Shira Moolten, Sun Sentinel, 20 June 2022 Many asked wildlife officials to do something for the moose, to tranquilize it and treat it. Mitchell Willetts, Anchorage Daily News, 13 May 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1623, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of tranquilize was in 1623

Dictionary Entries Near tranquilize

Cite this Entry

“Tranquilize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants also tranquillize
tranquilized also tranquillized; tranquilizing also tranquillizing
: to make or become tranquil or relaxed
especially : to ease the nervous tension and anxiety of usually by means of drugs

Medical Definition


transitive verb
variants or chiefly British tranquillize or tranquillise
tranquilized or chiefly British tranquilized or tranquilised; tranquilizing or chiefly British tranquilizing or tranquilising
: to make tranquil or calm
especially : to relieve of mental tension and anxiety by means of drugs
tranquilization noun
or chiefly British tranquillization or tranquillisation

More from Merriam-Webster on tranquilize

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