[ an-l-jee-zik, -sik ]
/ ˌæn lˈdʒi zɪk, -sɪk /


a remedy that relieves or allays pain.


of, relating to, or causing analgesia, or the relief of pain.



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Origin of analgesic

First recorded in 1870–75; analges(ia) + -ic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020


What does analgesic mean?

An analgesic is a remedy that reduces or relieves pain. It especially refers to pain relief medicine, such as acetaminophen.

Analgesics also include drugs known as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen.

Analgesic can also be used as an adjective describing things that have pain-relieving effects, as in the analgesic properties of certain herbs.

Analgesic comes from the word analgesia, which means a lessening of pain or the absence of pain.

Example: Aspirin is a well-known and commonly used analgesic.

Where does analgesic come from?

The first records of analgesic come from the 1800s. It’s based on the word analgesia, which comes from the Greek analgēsía, meaning “painless.” The word is a combination of the prefix an-, meaning “without,” and the Greek algein, meaning “to feel pain” (the English word algesia means “sensitivity to pain”).

Analgesic is a medical term, but pain relief is such a common topic that the word has become somewhat commonly recognized by people who are not medical professionals. Analgesics come in many forms, including gels and injections, but they are most commonly used in pill form. Mild analgesics are sold at the drugstore, while more powerful ones are prescribed or used to treat patients at the hospital. NSAIDs are a specific type of analgesics that treat inflammation.

Analgesics dull pain or mask the feeling. They should not be confused with anesthetics, which are intended to remove all sensation and sometimes cause unconsciousness.

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What are some other forms related to analgesic?

What are some synonyms for analgesic?

What are some words that share a root or word element with analgesic

What are some words that often get used in discussing analgesic?

How is analgesic used in real life?

Analgesic is most often used to refer to over-the-counter painkillers, like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen, but it can also refer to more powerful ones.



Try using analgesic!

True or False? 

All analgesics are NSAIDs.

Example sentences from the Web for analgesic

  • (Analgesic and Antipyretic): 16—32 ♏, pure or with equal parts glycerin or oil.

    Merck's 1899 Manual|Merck & Co.

British Dictionary definitions for analgesic

/ (ˌænəlˈdʒiːzɪk, -sɪk) /


of or causing analgesia


a substance that produces analgesia
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

Medical definitions for analgesic

[ ăn′əl-jēzĭk ]


A medication capable of reducing or eliminating pain.analgetic


Characterized by analgesia.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for analgesic

[ ăn′əl-jēzĭk ]

A drug used to eliminate pain; a painkiller. Aspirin and acetaminophen are analgesics.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for analgesic

[ (an-l-jee-zik, an-l-jee-sik) ]

A drug, such as aspirin, that relieves pain in the body.

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.