anodyne


anodyne
anodyne 1 Anodyne, analgesic, anesthetic all denote something used to relieve or prevent pain, all are freely used both substantively and adjectivally, and all have a related noun, anodynia, analgesia, anesthesia, denoting the corresponding state.
Anodyne is the oldest and most inclusive of these terms; it may be applied to any agent used primarily to relieve pain whether by dulling perception of pain or by altering the pain-causing situation (as by local stimulation of blood flow), often has a literary or popular rather than medical connotation, and is the only one of these terms given broad figurative use (see ANODYNE 2).
Analgesic is narrower in scope; it is applied especially to a medicinal substance or preparation used locally or sys- temically to dull the perception of pain (as by action on the nervous system) usually without other major disturbance of consciousness.
An anesthetic is a medicinal agent that produces insensibility both to pain and to all other sensations either of a particular part or area (local anesthesia) or of the whole body (general anesthesia): anesthetic is the one term to use of an agent designed to prevent anticipated pain (as from surgery) as distinct from one designed to assuage existent pain; thus, one is administered an anesthetic before a tooth is pulled and given an analgesic to relieve pain after the anesthesia has worn off.
2 Anodyne, opiate, narcotic, nepenthe mean something used to dull or deaden one’s senses or one’s sensibility and are often used adjectivally.
Anodyne is frequently used as the opposite of stimulant
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had . . . made anodyne translations from Homer and Sophocles in “rhymic” and sleepy prose— Santayana

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It usually suggests something that allays excitement or mitigates mental distress often by inducing forgetfulness or oblivion
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this kind of religion cannot be anything better than an anodyne; but an anodyne is unfortunately just what many people want from their religion— Inge

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mutiny among the crews of Columbus was too much of a menace for the comforting daily sight of drifting vegetation not to be a very real mental anodyneBeebe

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Opiate usually is applied to something that induces a dream state and a delusion of happiness; it also commonly suggests indifference to actual evils and a false sense of security or well-being with consequent stilling of all disturbing thoughts
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price-fixing is a most dangerous economic opiateT. W. Arnold

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no military swagger of my mind, can smother from myself the wrong I’ve done him, —without design, indeed, —yet it is so, —and opiate for the conscience have I none— Keats

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Narcotic implies a putting to sleep or into a stupor; in figurative use, it suggests merely a pleasant drowsiness which overcomes one and has a lulling effect on mind and body
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many lovers of the arts find in music, poetry, painting, and the novel escapes, as narcotic as they are delightful, from the pressures and exigencies in which we are involved— Edman

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the promise that religion offers of a larger reward is less likely to serve as a moral stimulant than as a moral narcoticGarvin

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Nepenthe, the designation of a legendary drug or potion of the ancient Greeks, said to allay pain and sorrow, is used in modern English with the implication of something sweet and pleasurable substituted for something painful
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after the fiery stimulants, compounded of brimstone and bigotry, offered by the polemic theologians, the gentle sedative of Montaigne’s conversation comes like a draft of nepenthePreserved Smith

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It is also freely used to denote the state of placid peace resulting from the use of a nepenthe
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only . . . in idle chatter and consoling gossip and scandal, and in the more unendurable cases in drink, can they find nepentheNathan

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Antonyms: stimulant: irritant

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Anodyne — Album par Uncle Tupelo Sortie 5 octobre 1991 Enregistrement mai juin 1993 Cedar Creek studio, Austin Durée 43 min …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Anodyne — An o*dyne ([a^]n [ o]*d[imac]n), a. [L. anodynus, Gr. ? free from pain, stilling pain; an priv. + ? pain: cf. F. anodin.] Serving to assuage pain; soothing. [1913 Webster] The anodyne draught of oblivion. Burke. [1913 Webster] Note: The word [in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Anodyne — An o*dyne, n. [L. anodynon. See {Anodyne}, a.] Any medicine which allays pain, as an opiate or narcotic; anything that soothes disturbed feelings. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • anodyne — (adj.) 1540s, from M.L. anodynus pain removing, allaying pain, from L. anodynus painless, from Gk. anodynos free from pain, from an without (see AN (Cf. an ) (1)) + odyne pain, a word perhaps from PIE root *ed to eat (Cf. , from t …   Etymology dictionary

  • anodyne — index beneficial, drug, medicinal, narcotic (adjective), narcotic (noun), remedial Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burt …   Law dictionary

  • anodyne — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ unlikely to cause offence or disagreement; bland. ► NOUN ▪ a painkilling drug or medicine. ORIGIN Greek an dunos painless …   English terms dictionary

  • anodyne — [an′ō dīn΄, an′ədīn΄] adj. [L anodynus < Gr anōdynos < an , without + odynē, pain] 1. relieving or lessening pain; soothing 2. lacking zest, vigor, etc.; bland; insipid n. anything that relieves pain or soothes anodynic [an΄ədin′ik] adj …   English World dictionary

  • Anodyne — An anodyne (Greek αν, loss, and οδυνη, pain: a cause which relieves pain) is a medicine that relieves or soothes pain by lessening the sensitivity of the brain or nervous system. Also called an analgesic (or colloquially a painkiller ).The term… …   Wikipedia

  • anodyne — an|o|dyne1 [ˈænədaın] adj formal [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: anodynus, from Greek, from an without + odyne pain ] expressed in a way that is unlikely to offend anyone = ↑bland ▪ anodyne topics of conversation anodyne 2 anodyne2 n …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • anodyne — [[t]æ̱nədaɪn[/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe something as anodyne, you are criticizing it because it has no strong characteristics and is not likely to excite, interest, or upset anyone. [FORMAL] Their quarterly meetings were… …   English dictionary


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