or an·aes·the·sia

[ an-uhs-thee-zhuh ]
See synonyms for anesthesia on
  1. Medicine/Medical. general or local insensibility, as to pain and other sensation, induced by certain interventions or drugs to permit the performance of surgery or other painful procedures.

  2. Pathology. general loss of the senses of feeling, as pain, heat, cold, touch, and other less common varieties of sensation.

  1. Psychiatry. absence of sensation due to psychological processes, as in conversion disorders.

Origin of anesthesia

1715–25; <New Latin <Greek anaisthēsía want of feeling. See an-1, esthesia

Words Nearby anesthesia Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use anesthesia in a sentence

  • There was enough whiskey in the place to provide the new specimen with a near-total anesthesia.

    Highways in Hiding | George Oliver Smith
  • anesthesia from it sets in more rapidly and lasts longer than with cocaine.

    Merck's 1899 Manual | Merck &amp; Co.
  • While hypnotism can be used to produce anesthesia, it has many disadvantages.

    Psychotherapy | James J. Walsh
  • One element that is extremely important for anesthesia is deep breathing.

    Psychotherapy | James J. Walsh
  • Feldman operated with a pocketknife sterilized in a bottle of expensive Scotch and only anodyne tablets in place of anesthesia.

    Badge of Infamy | Lester del Rey

British Dictionary definitions for anesthesia


/ (ˌænɪsˈθiːzɪə) /

  1. the usual US spelling of anaesthesia

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

Scientific definitions for anesthesia


[ ăn′ĭs-thēzhə ]

  1. Total or partial loss of sensation to touch or pain, caused by nerve injury or disease, or induced intentionally, especially by the administration of anesthetic drugs, to provide medical treatment. The first public use of ether to anesthetize a patient in Boston in 1846 initiated widespread acceptance of anesthetics in the Western world for surgical procedures and obstetrics. General anesthesia, administered as inhalation or intravenous agents, acts primarily on the brain, resulting in a temporary loss of consciousness. Regional or local anesthesia affects sensation in a specific anatomic area, and includes topical application of local anesthetics, blocking of peripheral nerves, spinal anesthesia, and epidural anesthesia, which is used commonly during childbirth.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for anesthesia


[ (an-is-thee-zhuh) ]

Loss of sensation or consciousness. Anesthesia can be induced by an anesthetic, by acupuncture, or as the result of injury or disease.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.