va·​so·​di·​la·​tor ˌvā-zō-dī-ˈlā-tər How to pronounce vasodilator (audio) -ˈdī-ˌlā- How to pronounce vasodilator (audio)
: an agent (such as a parasympathetic nerve fiber or a drug) that induces or initiates vasodilation

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The repeated and completely transient nature of our patient’s symptoms supports the fact that embolism was not involved, whereas the resolution of the symptoms after initiation of the treatment with the vasodilator enalapril supports vasoconstriction as the cause of transient blindness. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 2 May 2014 Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow throughout the body. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 20 Mar. 2023 The gel's active ingredient, glyceryl nitrate, has been used for as a vasodilator for over a century. Valerie Ross, Discover Magazine, 11 May 2011 Antidepressants were a bit less publishable; antipsychotics were markedly worse; and only just over half of the vasodilator trials did. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 5 Aug. 2010 Sponges also have cells called pinacocytes that contract in unison like muscle cells to squeeze the animal and expunge waste or unwanted debris; pinacocytes have some sensory machinery that responds to nitric oxide, a vasodilator. Quanta Magazine, 4 Nov. 2021 In addition to helping prevent forward-head posture, inhaling through your nose expresses nitric oxide, a natural vasodilator that increases oxygenation. Dana Santas, CNN, 23 June 2021 These characteristics are likely to lower hypertension, the study said, as hypertensionmay be caused by underproduction of vasodilators that help blood flow, and thickening arteries. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 23 Apr. 2020 Manganese is a vasodilator with anti-oxidative properties that helps to improve blood flow to the brain as well as fight free-radicals. Adele Jackson-gibson, Good Housekeeping, 3 Feb. 2020 See More

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

Word History


vaso- + dilator, after French vaso-dilateur

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vasodilator was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near vasodilator

Cite this Entry

“Vasodilator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 noun
va·​so·​di·​la·​tor ˌvā-zō-ˈdī-ˌlāt-ər How to pronounce vasodilator (audio)
: an agent (as a parasympathetic nerve fiber or a drug) that induces or initiates vasodilation


2 of 2 adjective
: relating to, inducing, or initiating vasodilation
a drug with a vasodilator effect

More from Merriam-Webster on vasodilator

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