Definition of stimulant in English:



  • 1A substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body.

    ‘it is a stimulant that has a direct effect on the nervous system’
    ‘a scalp stimulant’
    • ‘Some of these medicines, like stimulants and antidepressants, were first developed for other health problems.’
    • ‘Alternatively, antispasmodic drugs and motility stimulants may be prescribed.’
    • ‘If MDMA is to be scheduled, it properly belongs on Schedule III - along with substances like steroids and stimulants.’
    • ‘However, physician assistants are not authorized to prescribe Schedule II substances listed as stimulants or depressants in Iowa.’
    • ‘Some prescribing issues surround the use of controlled substances such as stimulants.’
    • ‘Unless contraindicated, prophylaxis with a gastrointestinal motility stimulant laxative and a stool softener is appropriate in terminally ill patients who are being given opioids.’
    • ‘Research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, showed a increase in the use of antidepressants and stimulants in all of the countries included in the study.’
    • ‘The medications most often implicated in prescription drug abuse are opioid analgesics, sedative-hypnotics and stimulants.’
    • ‘Amphetamines, like cocaine, are psychomotor stimulants, previously used primarily by those involved in sports and entertainment to enhance performance.’
    • ‘It's never a good sign when someone's taking sedatives and stimulants at the same time.’
    • ‘Some commonly used medications include antidepressants, anti-psychotics and stimulants.’
    • ‘It is also a central nervous system stimulant, which can aid in activities that require concentration.’
    • ‘In the MTA study, children were given bupropion or haloperidol if stimulants proved ineffective.’
    • ‘To maximize the chance of extubation to nCPAP we chose to use a combination of surfactant and caffeine as a respiratory stimulant to enable preterm neonates to be maintained on nCPAP.’
    • ‘One could argue that I might have just got people who didn't respond very well to the stimulant medication and so the stimulant wasn't actually having that bonus effect that you might have predicted.’
    • ‘If bupropion is not a stimulant why does GlaxoWellcome's product monograph list insomnia as its commonest side effect (occurring in just under half of patients)?’
    • ‘I used to compound it in a 20 mg/ml solution to be used as a respiratory stimulant for premature babies.’
    • ‘It also acted as a stimulant, a sedative, an appetite suppressant, and fed smokers' addictions.’
    • ‘The medicines investigated include antidepressants, stimulants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and other anxiolytics.’
    • ‘The stimulants methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine remain the pharmacologic agents of first choice for the management of ADHD.’
    tonic, restorative, reviver, energizer, refresher
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    1. 1.1Something that increases activity, interest, or enthusiasm in a specified field.
      ‘population growth is a major stimulant to industrial development’
      • ‘More credit is not an antidote but instead a potent stimulant for Financial Fragility.’
      • ‘On the contrary, they act as stimulants, inducing in their adherents a desire to effect a dramatic change in their circumstances.’
      • ‘The brink of disaster can be a mighty potent stimulant for forcing a company to save itself.’
      • ‘A major growth stimulant over the review period was increased consumer demand for food products requiring minimal preparation.’
      • ‘Angola's post-civil war economic and political stability since 2002 is a stimulant for increasing trade and investment.’
      • ‘It is the trustees' vision that this prize will become a major stimulant to the inventiveness of the young people of Europe by giving early recognition and encouragement to the Alfred Nobels of the 21st century.’
      • ‘Major international companies, however, remain a major stimulant to Paisley and Renfrewshire and the export effort.’
      • ‘The proposed new European league, in which Celtic and Rangers are the prime movers, will not just put the his club on a level commercial footing with the major Italian and English ones, but will also be a major stimulant to the Scottish game.’
      • ‘Like railroads, gaslights were instrumental stimulants for industrial growth.’
      • ‘This isn't surprising as low interest rates are proving an inadequate stimulant to get European economies moving again.’
      • ‘His determination to promote Bradford is a stimulant.’
      • ‘WIT is the anchor and stimulant for thinking and development in the region.’
      • ‘Much more than a resource economy, services industries are the main stimulant of economic activity and make up almost 80 per cent of GDP.’
      stimulus, incentive, encouragement, impetus, inducement, fillip, boost, spur, prompt, prod, jog
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  • Raising levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body.

    ‘caffeine has stimulant effects on the heart’
    • ‘She, like any parent, wanted to find out whether what her child was taking was really working, because there are side effects of taking stimulant medications.’
    • ‘These medications preserve the anorectic effects of amphetamines with weaker stimulant activity and little abuse potential.’
    • ‘Past year stimulant use, number of past year illicit drugs used, and past year drunkenness were examined as covariates for past year IDU.’
    • ‘This bill redefines ‘stimulant’ to include dietary ingredients that have a stimulant effect on the cardiovascular or central nervous system of a human being.’
    • ‘For example, a patient taking neuroleptics who relapses to stimulant medications is at risk of hyperpyrexia.’
    • ‘Psychostimulants include a diverse class of drugs exhibiting central nervous system stimulant properties, and have a high abuse potential.’
    • ‘While initial insomnia can be a side effect of stimulant medication, it is also a common complaint of adults with untreated ADHD.’
    • ‘This drug reduces stimulant craving and withdrawal symptoms.’
    • ‘There do not appear to be any adverse long-term behavioral effects resulting from chronic stimulant use.’
    • ‘Because of its ease of manufacture and ready availability, methamphetamine has become the sympathomimetic amine of choice among stimulant abusers.’
    • ‘Some children are prescribed stimulant medicines for decades, even after they grow up.’
    • ‘Researchers may be far from understanding the long-term effects of stimulant drugs like methamphetamine on the brain.’
    • ‘A decongestant spray may cause more congestion in some people, and over-the-counter sprays may have stimulant side effects.’
    • ‘These risks are due to a combination of the drug's stimulant effect that allows the user to dance for long periods of time in the hot and crowded environment of rave parties.’
    • ‘Because of lack of efficacy or the emergence of adverse effects, stimulant therapy is unsuccessful in 25 to 30 percent of children.’
    • ‘This molecule is the most potent chemotactic agent for monocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and fibroblasts and has a significant stimulant effect on the formation of granulation tissue.’
    • ‘Elevating plasma cortisol levels, either by exogenous administration or stress, facilitates the acquisition of stimulant administration in preclinical rodent models.’
    • ‘We assume that the present findings may be due to a secondary effect of stimulant drug treatment.’
    • ‘These findings suggest that many stimulant users discontinued their drug use as they aged.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, 70% of stimulant users used at least four classes of illicit drugs in their lifetime.’


Early 18th century: from Latin stimulant- urging, goading, from the verb stimulare.