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



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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 Alfaro said agents from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were in Monrovia and would try to tranquilize and relocate the animal. Jake Sheridan, Los Angeles Times, "Mountain lion spotted roaming Monrovia neighborhood," 23 June 2020 Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials were able to tranquilize the bear, then discovered the animal's feet were burned. Fox News, "Bear rescued from Colorado wildfire; blaze near Durango grows to over 2,700 acres," 18 June 2020 The decision to shoot the cat rather than tranquilize the animal was made because of a lack of proper equipment to keep the situation safe, according to WBNS-10TV. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "Ezekiel Elliott's Father Under Investigation for Loose African Cat Shot Dead by Police," 17 Oct. 2019 But this comment got Chahl thinking: many animals do bite, which is why researchers and veterinarians often trap or tranquilize them before recording their vital signs. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "The Camera Will See You Now: New Tech Takes Wildlife Vitals from Afar," 5 Mar. 2020 Other popular suggestions included tranquilizing the tigers which wasn’t a practical solution from a biology stand point, Burford said. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "After 5 days, the Apopka bear has climbed down from tree hanging over tiger enclosure," 26 Nov. 2019 Roy Smith and Officer Jeff Roberson of the TWRA quickly tranquilized the bear, the agency said. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "A 200-lb black bear was caught roaming University of Tennessee's campus," 29 Dec. 2019 That’s what researchers believe happened in November 2017 when a mountain lion was cornered and tranquilized at a housing complex in the Diamond Heights area of San Francisco. Peter Fimrite,, "California mountain lions dying on highways, but face an even bigger threat," 20 Sep. 2019 Massachusetts Environmental Police and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife tranquilized the moose near the back of St John’s Cemetery at 260 Cambridge St., said Worcester Police Lieutenant Sean Murtha in a statement., "Police said the animal was taken to a state park. The bull moose was about 2 or 3 years old, Larson said.," 1 Oct. 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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The first known use of tranquilize was in 1623

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Cite this Entry

“Tranquilize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for tranquilize


How to pronounce tranquilize (audio)

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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