[mass noun] A narcotic and sedative barbiturate drug formerly used to relieve insomnia.→ Nembutal
- ‘One drug in particular, sodium pentobarbital - a barbiturate used to euthanize animals - is of prime concern.’
- ‘To induce a coma, an anesthesiologist typically infuses a patient with increasing doses of the barbiturate pentobarbital while monitoring her brain waves with electrodes.’
- ‘In this experiment, human volunteers consistently underestimated their performance impairment after acute administrations of triazolam, but not pentobarbital, a barbiturate.’
- ‘Barbiturates, such as mephobarbital and pentobarbital sodium, which are used to treat anxiety, tension, and sleep disorders.’
- ‘The sheep were given a general anaesthetic by intravenous pentobarbitone, intubation and ventilation.’
1930s: from pentane + barbitone (or barbital).