[ben-zoh-dahy-az-uh-peen, -ey-zuh-]

noun Pharmacology.

any of a family of minor tranquilizers that act against anxiety and convulsions and produce sedation and muscle relaxation.

Origin of benzodiazepine

First recorded in 1965–70; benz- + diazep(am) + -ine2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for benzodiazepine



any of a group of chemical compounds that are used as minor tranquillizers, such as diazepam (Valium) and chlordiazepoxide (Librium)

Word Origin for benzodiazepine

C20: from benzo- + di- 1 + aza- + ep- + -ine ²
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 benzodiazepine

1934, from benzo-, word-forming element used in chemistry to indicate presence of a benzene ring fused with another ring, + di + azo- + epine, a suffix denoting a seven-membered ring, from (h)ep(ta) (see seven).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for benzodiazepine


[bĕn′zō-dī-ăzə-pēn′, -pĭn]


Any of a group of psychotropic agents used as antianxiety agents, muscle relaxants, sedatives, and hypnotics.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.