An anodyne (Greek αν, loss, and οδυνη, pain: a cause which relieves pain) is a medicine that relieves or soothes pain by lessening the sensitivity of the brain or nervous system. Also called an analgesic (or colloquially a "painkiller").

The term has been applied incorrectly to various medications, such as narcotics, hypnotics, and opiates. True anodynes were applied externally to the part affected. Among those classed "simple" were onion, lily, root of mallows, leaves of violet, and elderberry.

Certain compound medicines were also called by this name, such as "anodyne balsam", made of castile soap, camphor, saffron, and spirit of wine, and digested in a sand heat. It was recommended not only for easing extreme pain, but for assisting in discharging the "peccant" matter that occurred with the pain.

By extension, soothing or placating words are called anodyne.

Anodyne therapy is a type of near infrared light therapy marketed as an adjunct to physical therapy to certain physical conditions.

In common parlance, it means innocuous - not likely to offend or arouse passion.



External links

* [ The Anodyne Electric Company] artist collective founded in Chicago.

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  • anodyne — 1 Anodyne, analgesic, anesthetic all denote something used to relieve or prevent pain, all are freely used both substantively and adjectivally, and all have a related noun, anodynia, analgesia, anesthesia, denoting the corresponding state.… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Anodyne — Album par Uncle Tupelo Sortie 5 octobre 1991 Enregistrement mai juin 1993 Cedar Creek studio, Austin Durée 43 min …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Anodyne — An o*dyne ([a^]n [ o]*d[imac]n), a. [L. anodynus, Gr. ? free from pain, stilling pain; an priv. + ? pain: cf. F. anodin.] Serving to assuage pain; soothing. [1913 Webster] The anodyne draught of oblivion. Burke. [1913 Webster] Note: The word [in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Anodyne — An o*dyne, n. [L. anodynon. See {Anodyne}, a.] Any medicine which allays pain, as an opiate or narcotic; anything that soothes disturbed feelings. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • anodyne — (adj.) 1540s, from M.L. anodynus pain removing, allaying pain, from L. anodynus painless, from Gk. anodynos free from pain, from an without (see AN (Cf. an ) (1)) + odyne pain, a word perhaps from PIE root *ed to eat (Cf. , from t …   Etymology dictionary

  • anodyne — index beneficial, drug, medicinal, narcotic (adjective), narcotic (noun), remedial Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burt …   Law dictionary

  • anodyne — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ unlikely to cause offence or disagreement; bland. ► NOUN ▪ a painkilling drug or medicine. ORIGIN Greek an dunos painless …   English terms dictionary

  • anodyne — [an′ō dīn΄, an′ədīn΄] adj. [L anodynus < Gr anōdynos < an , without + odynē, pain] 1. relieving or lessening pain; soothing 2. lacking zest, vigor, etc.; bland; insipid n. anything that relieves pain or soothes anodynic [an΄ədin′ik] adj …   English World dictionary

  • anodyne — an|o|dyne1 [ˈænədaın] adj formal [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: anodynus, from Greek, from an without + odyne pain ] expressed in a way that is unlikely to offend anyone = ↑bland ▪ anodyne topics of conversation anodyne 2 anodyne2 n …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • anodyne — [[t]æ̱nədaɪn[/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe something as anodyne, you are criticizing it because it has no strong characteristics and is not likely to excite, interest, or upset anyone. [FORMAL] Their quarterly meetings were… …   English dictionary

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