/di pres"euhnt/, adj.
1. Med. having the quality of depressing or lowering the vital activities; sedative.
2. causing a lowering in spirits; dejecting.
3. causing a drop in value; economically depressing.
4. Med. a sedative. Cf. stimulant (def. 1).
5. Chem. any agent capable of diminishing a specific property of a substance.
[1875-80; DEPRESS + -ANT]

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      in medicine, a drug or other agent that slows the activity of vital organs of the body. Depressants acting on the central nervous system include general anesthetics, opiates, alcohol, and hypnotics. Tranquilizing drugs (ataractics) act primarily on the lower levels of the brain, relieving tension without reducing mental sharpness.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • depressant — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ reducing functional or nervous activity. ► NOUN ▪ a depressant drug or other agent …   English terms dictionary

  • depressant — [dē pres′ənt, dipres′ənt] adj. [ DEPRESS + ANT] lowering the rate of muscular or nervous activity n. a depressant medicine, drug, etc.; sedative …   English World dictionary

  • Depressant — De*press ant, n. (Med.) An agent or remedy which lowers the vital powers. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • depressant — index narcotic (adjective), narcotic (noun) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • depressant — sedative, 1876 as a noun, 1887 as an adjective; see DEPRESS (Cf. depress) + ANT (Cf. ant) …   Etymology dictionary

  • depressant — [n] sedative calmant, downer, intoxicant, relaxant, tranquilizer; concept 7 …   New thesaurus

  • depressant — 1. Diminishing functional tone or activity. 2. An agent that reduces nervous or functional activity, such as a sedative or anesthetic. [L. de primo, pp. pressus, to press down] * * * de·pres·sant ənt …   Medical dictionary

  • depressant — UK [dɪˈpres(ə)nt] / US noun [countable] Word forms depressant : singular depressant plural depressants a drug or substance that makes you feel relaxed and makes your body work and react more slowly Derived word: depressant UK / US adjective …   English dictionary

  • depressant — 1. noun A pharmacological substance which decreases neuronal or physiological activity. Alcohol acts first as a stimulant and then as a depressant. 2. adjective Acting as a depressant …   Wiktionary

  • depressant — noun Date: 1876 one that depresses; specifically an agent that reduces a bodily functional activity or an instinctive desire (as appetite) • depressant adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Depressant — A depressant is a drug that reduces the function or activity of a specific part of the body or brain.[1] Due to their effects typically having a down quality to them, depressants are also occasionally referred to as downers. Stimulants or uppers …   Wikipedia

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