[dih-pres-uh nt]


Medicine/Medical. having the quality of depressing or lowering the vital activities; sedative.
causing a lowering in spirits; dejecting.
causing a drop in value; economically depressing.


Medicine/Medical. a sedative.Compare stimulant(def 1).
Chemistry. any agent capable of diminishing a specific property of a substance.

Origin of depressant

First recorded in 1875–80; depress + -ant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for depressant

intoxicant, tranquilizer, downer, relaxant

Examples from the Web for depressant

Contemporary Examples of depressant

Historical Examples of depressant

British Dictionary definitions for depressant



med able to diminish or reduce nervous or functional activity
causing gloom or dejection; depressing


a depressant drug
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 depressant

"sedative," 1876 as a noun, 1887 as an adjective; see depress + -ant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

depressant in Medicine




Tending to lower the rate of vital physiological activities.


An agent, especially a drug, that decreases the rate of vital physiological activities.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.