One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A barbiturate drug, C₈H₁₁N₂NaO₃, with properties and uses similar to those of barbitone, of which it is the sodium salt.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in The Trade Marks Journal. Origin uncertain; compare -al. With the ending -nal compare trional, veronal. Originally a trade name.
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