An analgesic is a medicine that takes away physical pain. If you ask for pain relief, and the nurse says "Here's an analgesic," she's not trying to worsen your headache with a difficult word; she's just giving you a painkiller.

Breaking apart the word analgesic helps with pronunciation, ann-ull-JEE-zick. This isn't a proper root-word study, but the last three letters of the word look like "sick." If you're sick and have some pain and discomfort, you might get relief from an analgesic. As a noun, analgesic is the actual medicine, and as an adjective, it describes the effect of the medicine — a pill will have an analgesic effect, relieving the pain — unless it's really bad pain, in which case you'll need two.

Definitions of analgesic
  1. adjective
    capable of relieving pain
    “an analgesic effect”
    synonyms: analgetic, anodyne
    lessening in intensity or strength
  2. noun
    a medicine used to relieve pain
    synonyms: anodyne, pain pill, painkiller
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    Anacin III, Datril, Panadol, Phenaphen, Tempra, Tylenol, acetaminophen
    an analgesic for mild pain but not for inflammation; also used as an antipyretic; (Datril, Tylenol, Panadol, Phenaphen, Tempra, and Anacin III are trademarks of brands of acetaminophen tablets)
    acetanilid, acetanilide, phenylacetamide
    a white crystalline compound used as an analgesic and also as an antipyretic
    acetophenetidin, acetphenetidin, phenacetin
    a white crystalline compound used as an analgesic and also as an antipyretic
    amidopyrine, aminopyrine
    a white crystalline substance used as an analgesic and antipyretic
    Bayer, Empirin, St. Joseph, acetylsalicylic acid, aspirin
    the acetylated derivative of salicylic acid; used as an analgesic anti-inflammatory drug (trade names Bayer, Empirin, and St. Joseph) usually taken in tablet form; used as an antipyretic; slows clotting of the blood by poisoning platelets
    derivative of opium; used as an antitussive (to relieve coughing) and an analgesic (to relieve pain)
    an analgesic drug derived from the saffron plant and used to treat gout
    Fentanyl, Sublimaze
    trade names of a narcotic analgesic that can be inhaled and that acts on the central nervous system and may become addictive; used as a veterinary anesthetic and with other drugs before, during, and after surgery; also used as a nonlethal gas to incapacitate people in hostage situations; also abused as a recreational drug
    Dilaudid, hydromorphone, hydromorphone hydrochloride
    a narcotic analgesic (trade name Dilaudid) used to treat moderate to severe pain
    morphia, morphine
    an alkaloid narcotic drug extracted from opium; a powerful, habit-forming narcotic used to relieve pain
    Talwin, pentazocine
    analgesic drug (trade name Talwin) that is less addictive than morphine
    Pyridium, phenazopyridine
    analgesic (trade name Pyridium) used to treat urinary tract infections
    Darvon, propoxyphene, propoxyphene hydrochloride
    a mildly narcotic analgesic drug (trade name Darvon) related to methadone but less addictive
    sodium salicylate
    a crystalline salt used as an analgesic and antipyretic
    a morphine derivative that is not as strong as morphine; used as an emetic and in small doses as a sedative
    aspirin powder, headache powder
    a powdered form of aspirin
    Bufferin, buffered aspirin
    aspirin coated with a substance capable of neutralizing acid (trade name Bufferin)
    enteric-coated aspirin
    aspirin that is treated to pass through the stomach unaltered and to dissolve in the intestines
    type of:
    medicament, medication, medicinal drug, medicine
    (medicine) something that treats or prevents or alleviates the symptoms of disease
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