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  1. calm, quiet, or composed; undisturbed by passion or excitement: a sedate party; a sedate horse.
verb (used with object), se·dat·ed, se·dat·ing.
  1. to put (a person) under sedation.

Origin of sedate

1640–50; < Latin sēdātus (past participle of sēdāre to allay, quieten); akin to sedēre to sit1
Related formsse·date·ly, adverbse·date·ness, nounun·se·date, adjectiveun·se·date·ly, adverbun·se·date·ness, noun


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1. collected, serene, unruffled, unperturbed. See staid.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sedately

Historical Examples

  • The French governess marched primly and sedately behind them.

    The Letter of the Contract

    Basil King

  • “I am very much obliged to both of you,” returned Nettie sedately.

  • "I don't like to see young men too fond of money," she observed, sedately.

  • "Philip suits you very well," Miss Blair answered, sedately.

  • "That is not the surprise I have in store," returned Arabella sedately.

British Dictionary definitions for sedately


  1. habitually calm and composed in manner; serene
  2. staid, sober, or decorous
Derived Formssedately, adverbsedateness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin sēdāre to soothe; related to sedēre to sit


  1. (tr) to administer a sedative to

Word Origin

C20: back formation from sedative
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sedately



"calm, quiet," 1660s, from Latin sedatus "composed, moderate, quiet, tranquil," past participle of sedare "to settle, calm," causative of sedere "to sit" (see sedentary). Related: Sedately.



"treat with sedatives," 1945, a back-formation from the noun derivative of sedative (adj.). The word also existed 17c. in a sense "make calm or quiet." Related: Sedated; sedating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sedately in Medicine


  1. To administer a sedative to; calm or relieve by means of a sedative drug.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.