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.

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

Synonyms for sedate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sedate

Contemporary Examples of sedate

Historical Examples of sedate

  • I love to hear you talk, when you are so sedate as you seem now to be.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • I had been told that the English were cold and sedate: I found them charming and full of humour.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • We grew sedate; sedate were the brows of the few strangers we met.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • Grave and sedate, as if knowing the sorrowful thoughts of his master.


    William D. Howells

  • The one servant of the house waited at table, prim, sedate, formal.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

British Dictionary definitions for sedate




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

Word Origin for sedate

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




(tr) to administer a sedative to

Word Origin for sedate

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 sedate

"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

sedate in Medicine




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.