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

Kevin Gerber says officers subdued and removed one deer and two others that ended up in a bathroom were tranquilized and released. USA TODAY, "Renters revolt, troublesome bras, deer in the john: News from around our 50 states," 5 June 2019 Authorities in Southern California had to tranquilize a mountain lion after it was found roaming through backyards on Monday morning. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Mountain lion caught after roaming Southern California neighborhood," 26 Mar. 2018 Five firefighters finally had to tranquilize the furry delinquent. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "That Raccoon Rooting Through Your Trash Could Be a Big Star in Seoul," 7 Nov. 2018 They were tranquilized and captured just before 1 p.m., according to the MTA. Sarah Maslin Nir, The Seattle Times, "Not Your Average Subway Delay: Hungry Goats on the Tracks," 20 Aug. 2018 The jaguar was tranquilized by a vet team and returned to its enclosure. Fox News, "Author Shelby Steele on race relations, equality in America," 16 July 2018 While elsewhere in the world naturalists were studying bears by tranquilizing them and putting trackers on them, or doing chemical analysis of their blood and bodily wastes, Mr. Russell wanted no part of that. New York Times, "Charlie Russell, Who Befriended Bears, Dies at 76," 10 May 2018 The purpose of that medication is not really to treat an illness, but to tranquilize them. Molly Hennessy-fiske,, "Lawsuit alleges improper medication of migrant children in federal shelters," 21 June 2018 The animal, later identified as a rhesus macaque named Dawkins, was tranquilized two hours after initially escaping and transported to a sanctuary, KSAT reported. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Monkey escapes crate at San Antonio airport, flees to baggage area," 22 May 2018

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

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

What made you want to look up tranquilize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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