tran·​quil·​iz·​er | \ ˈtraŋ-kwə-ˌlī-zər How to pronounce tranquilizer (audio) , ˈtran- \
variants: or less commonly tranquillizer

Definition of tranquilizer

1 : a drug used to reduce mental disturbance (such as anxiety and tension) — compare antipsychotic
2 : one that tranquilizes

Examples of tranquilizer in a Sentence

a patient who is on tranquilizers
Recent Examples on the Web In the second room, Ahav’s eyes were drooping as the tranquilizer took effect. Hannah Dreier, Washington Post, "What to do about Ahav?," 24 Oct. 2020 This and sloppy medical procedures have obscured the fact that Jimi took an overdose of a powerful tranquilizer called Vesparax and passed away quietly in his sleep. David Kirby, WSJ, "‘Wild Thing’ Review: Out of This World," 2 Oct. 2020 What many called his greatest triumph arose in an inquiry into the tranquilizer thalidomide, which caused severe deformities in thousands of babies and led to lawsuits against a drugmaker. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Harold Evans Dies at 92; Crusading Newspaperman With a Second Act," 24 Sep. 2020 McKnight is not alone in questioning whether police are influencing paramedics to use the powerful tranquilizer that requires hospitalization for nonmedical reasons. Sara Sidner And Julia Jones, CNN, "Two strangers, with the same first name, and a terrifying story about ketamine in policing," 31 Aug. 2020 Ketamine has weathered a difficult reputation, first as a horse tranquilizer and then as a raver party drug, but it’s also widely used as an anesthetic and as an anti-inflammatory medication. Margaret Rhodes, Wired, "On Your Next Psychedelic Journey, Let an App Be Your Guide," 10 Aug. 2020 The elk was examined on scene and Gallegos then administered a drug to counteract the tranquilizer. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Stranded elk rescued after dropping 30 feet into old mine shaft in Mineral County," 21 Apr. 2020 Before Callie can comprehend this, Lucy comes downstairs and Gemma hits her with a tranquilizer. Dalene Rovenstine,, "The 100 recap: A journey to the past to meet the prequel cast," 9 July 2020 The Aurora fire department was called and upon arrival injected Mr. McClain with a tranquilizer. Rob Copeland, WSJ, "Race and Policing: Continuing Coverage," 26 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tranquilizer.' 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 tranquilizer

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of tranquilizer was in 1800

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Statistics for tranquilizer

Last Updated

3 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tranquilizer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for tranquilizer


How to pronounce tranquilizer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tranquilizer

: a drug that causes a person or animal to become very relaxed and calm


tran·​quil·​iz·​er | \ ˈtraŋ-kwə-ˌlī-zər How to pronounce tranquilizer (audio) \

Kids Definition of tranquilizer

: a drug used to make someone calm and relaxed


variants: or chiefly British tranquillizer or tranquilliser \ -​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce tranquilliser (audio) \

Medical Definition of tranquilizer

: a drug used to reduce mental disturbance (as anxiety and tension) — see antipsychotic

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