tran·​quil·​iz·​er ˈtraŋ-kwə-ˌlī-zər How to pronounce tranquilizer (audio)
variants or less commonly tranquillizer
: a drug used to reduce mental disturbance (such as anxiety and tension) compare antipsychotic
: one that tranquilizes

Example Sentences

a patient who is on tranquilizers
Recent Examples on the Web Xylazine, sometimes called tranq, is an animal tranquilizer that can cause long-term bodily damage in humans. Claire Bugos, Verywell Health, 14 Apr. 2023 Xylazine is not for humans Different from ketamine, an animal tranquilizer also used – effectively – in human medicine, xylazine has not been approved by the FDA for human use. Maria Morava, CNN, 17 Mar. 2023 The film takes place in a Mennonite colony where a series of horrific rapes has come to light, perpetrated by some of the men in the community against dozens of women and young girls, who were assaulted in their own beds after being drugged with a cattle tranquilizer. A.o. Scott, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2022 Xylazine is legal as a horse tranquilizer, but it’s not approved for human use. Joseph Wilkinson, Chicago Tribune, 22 Mar. 2023 Xylazine is a tranquilizer. Joseph Friedman, Time, 6 Apr. 2022 The White House on Wednesday issued an unprecedented warning about xylazine, the veterinary tranquilizer increasingly found in the illicit opioid supply. Lev Facher, STAT, 12 Apr. 2023 It is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use as a tranquilizer in veterinary medicine, typically in horses, but it is not approved for use in humans. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 12 Apr. 2023 This animal tranquilizer, used by veterinarians to sedate horses and cattle, is being added to fentanyl and other street drugs. Candy Woodall, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of tranquilizer was in 1800

Dictionary Entries Near tranquilizer

Cite this Entry

“Tranquilizer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants also tranquillizer
: one that tranquilizes
especially : a drug used to reduce anxiety and nervous tension

Medical Definition


variants or chiefly British tranquillizer or tranquilliser
: a drug used to reduce mental disturbance (as anxiety and tension) see antipsychotic
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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