sedative (adj.)

in medicine, "tending to calm or soothe," early 15c. (Chauliac), sedatif, from Old French sedatif and directly from Medieval Latin sedativus "calming, allaying," from sedat-, past participle stem of Latin sedare, causative of sedere "to sit" (from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit").

The noun derivative meaning "a sedative drug" is attested by 1797, short for sedative salt, etc.; earlier it was used in a figurative or non-medical sense (1785), "whatever soothes or allays."

updated on April 06, 2022

Definitions of sedative from WordNet
sedative (n.)
a drug that reduces excitability and calms a person;
Synonyms: sedative drug / depressant / downer
sedative (adj.)
tending to soothe or tranquilize;
took a hot drink with sedative properties before going to bed
Synonyms: ataractic / ataraxic / tranquilizing / tranquillizing / tranquilising / tranquillising
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.