from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A barbiturate, C8H12N2O3, that is a white crystalline powder and was formerly used as a hypnotic and sedative especially in the form of its sodium salt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The first commercially marketed barbiturate, used as a hypnotic drug until the mid-1950s.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a barbiturate used as a hypnotic


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

barbit(uric acid) + -al3.


  • Bromine became the next big thing in 1857, followed by barbital, the first of the barbiturates.

    The Chemistry of Calm

  • We then added a subhypnotic dose of barbital and found that the combined action of this drug and nitrous oxide could be antagonized, and the increase in partial pressure of nitrous oxide needed to inhibit the righting reflex could be used as a measure of pentylenetetrazol action.

    Arvid Carlsson - Autobiography

  • A woman, who had taken morphine and barbital, was found apparently dead after a night's exposure in some lonely spot.

    The Grey Room

  • Sodium Barbital - Sodium barbital is a short-acting barbiturate used intravenously to induce unconsciousness in patients about to undergo surgery.


  • In "The Jumping-off Place," about San Diego as the nation's suicide capital, epitome of native anguish and exhaustion, he concludes with a black parody of the all-American Whitmaniacal catalogue: they stuff up the cracks of their doors and quietly turn on the gas; they go into their back sheds or back kitchens and eat ant-paste or swallow Lysol; they drive their cars into dark alleys, get into the back seat and shoot themselves; they hang themselves in hotel bedrooms, take overdoses of sulphonal or barbital; they slip off to the municipal golf-links and there stab themselves with carving-knives; or they throw themselves into the bay, blue and placid, where gray battleships and cruisers guard the limits of their broad-belting nation-already reaching out in the eighties for the sugar plantations of Honolulu.


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