noun Medicine/Medical, Pathology.

  1. anesthesia.


  1. a substance that produces anesthesia, as halothane, procaine, or ether.


  1. pertaining to or causing physical insensibility: an anesthetic gas.
  2. physically insensitive: Halothane is used to produce an anesthetic state.


  1. (functioning as singular) the science, study, and practice of anaesthesia and its applicationUS name: anesthesiology

noun, adjective

  1. the usual US spelling of anaesthetic


  1. local or general loss of bodily sensation, esp of touch, as the result of nerve damage or other abnormality
  2. loss of sensation, esp of pain, induced by drugs: called general anaesthesia when consciousness is lost and local anaesthesia when only a specific area of the body is involved
  3. a general dullness or lack of feeling

1721, “loss of feeling,” Modern Latin, from Greek anaisthesia “want of feeling, lack of sensation (to pleasure or pain),” from an- “without” (see an- (1)) + aisthesis “feeling,” from PIE root *au- “to perceive” (see audience). As “a procedure for the prevention of pain in surgical operations,” from 1846.


alternative spelling of anaesthetic (q.v.). See ae.


  1. An agent that reversibly depresses neuronal function, producing total or partial loss of sensation.


  1. Characterized by the loss of sensation.
  2. Capable of producing a loss of sensation.
  3. Associated with or due to the state of anesthesia.

  1. A drug that temporarily depresses neuronal function, producing total or partial loss of sensation with or without the loss of consciousness.

A substance that causes loss of sensation or consciousness. With the aid of an anesthetic, people can undergo surgery without pain. (See general anesthetic and local anesthetic.)

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