AskDefine | Define anodyne

Dictionary Definition

anodyne adj : capable of relieving pain; "the anodyne properties of certain drugs"; "an analgesic effect" [syn: analgesic, analgetic] n : a medicine used to relieve pain [syn: analgesic, painkiller, pain pill]

User Contributed Dictionary


Etymology 1

From anodynus < anodynus < | < | + |.


  1. Capable of soothing or eliminating pain.
    Paracetamol has an anodyne effect.
  2. Soothing or relaxing.
    ClassicFM's music is rather anodyne.
  3. In the context of "of advice or opinion": Noncontentious, blandly agreeable, unlikely to cause offence or debate.
    ClassicFM's music is rather anodyne.


capable of soothing or eliminating pain
  • Finnish: kipu lievittävä
soothing or relaxing
noncontentious, blandly agreeable
  • Finnish: vaisu neutraali


  1. Any medicine or other agent that relieves pain.
  2. A source of relaxation or comfort.
any medicine or other agent that relieves pain
  • Finnish: kipulääke
a source of relaxation or comfort
  • Finnish: lohtu

Derived terms


Extensive Definition

For the Uncle Tupelo album, see Anodyne (album). For the mathematical type of morphism, see Model category
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 has been applied incorrectly to various medications, such as narcotics, hypnotics, and opiates. True anodynes were applied externally to the part affected. Among those classed "simple" were onion, lily, root of mallows, leaves of violet, and elderberry.
Certain compound medicines were also called by this name, such as anodyne balsam, made of castile soap, camphor, saffron, and spirit of wine, and digested in a sand heat. It was recommended not only for easing extreme pain, but for assisting in discharging the peccant matter that occurred with the pain.
By extension, soothing or placating words are called anodyne.
Anodyne therapy is a type of near infrared light therapy marketed as an adjunct to physical therapy to certain physical conditions.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Amytal, Amytal pill, Demerol, Dolophine, H, Luminal, Luminal pill, M, Mickey Finn, Nembutal, Nembutal pill, Seconal, Seconal pill, Tuinal, Tuinal pill, alcohol, alleviating, alleviative, alleviator, amobarbital sodium, analgesic, anesthetic, assuager, assuasive, balm, balmy, balsamic, barb, barbiturate, barbiturate pill, benumbing, black stuff, blue, blue angel, blue devil, blue heaven, blue velvet, calmant, calmative, cathartic, chloral hydrate, cleansing, codeine, codeine cough syrup, cushion, deadening, demulcent, depressant, depressor, dolly, dolorifuge, downer, dulling, easing, emollient, goofball, hard stuff, heroin, hop, horse, hypnotic, junk, knockout drops, laudanum, lenitive, liquor, lotus, meperidine, methadone, mitigating, mitigative, mitigator, moderator, modulator, mollifier, morphia, morphine, narcotic, nepenthe, numbing, opiate, opium, pacificator, pacifier, pain killer, pain-killer, pain-killing, palliative, paregoric, peacemaker, pen yan, phenobarbital, phenobarbital sodium, purgative, purple heart, quietener, quietening, rainbow, red, relieving, remedial, restraining hand, salve, scag, secobarbital sodium, sedative, shit, shock absorber, sleep-inducer, sleep-inducing, sleeper, sleeping draught, sleeping pill, smack, sodium thiopental, softening, somnifacient, somniferous, soother, soothing, soothing syrup, soporific, stabilizer, subduing, tar, temperer, tranquilizer, tranquilizing, turps, white stuff, wiser head, yellow, yellow jacket
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