Definition of barbital in US English:



North American
  • A long-acting sedative and sleep-inducing drug of the barbiturate type.

    Alternative name: diethylbarbituric acid; chemical formula: C₆H₁₂O₃N₂

    British term barbitone
    • ‘Systemic and intracerebroventricular administration of sodium barbital induced a place preference in rats’
    • ‘A case of suicide involving the intravenous injection of barbital and the oral ingestion of arsenic trioxide is reported.’
    • ‘Effect of altered tissue binding on the disposition of barbital in the isolated perfused rat liver: application of the axial dispersion model.’
    • ‘The author performed immunoprecipitation with immunodiffusion, using Petri dishes that contained 15 ml of 1.2% agarose in a barbital buffer.’
    • ‘These results suggest that nifedipine potentiates the development of physical dependence on barbital but not diazepam.’


Early 20th century: from barbituric acid, on the pattern of veronal (an alternative name).