New Words: anodyne

“At first it seemed the Ripper affair had scarred my friend Sherlock Holmes as badly as it had the city if London itself. I would encounter him at the end of his nightlong vigils, lying upon the sofa with his violin at his feet and his hypodermic syringe fallen from long, listless fingers, neither anodyne having banished the specter of the man we had pursued for over two months.”
Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye

an⋅o⋅dyne /ænədaɪn/
a medicine used to relieve pain
syn: analgesic, painkiller, pain pill
capable of relieving pain • the anodyne properties of certain drugs
syn: analgesic, analgetic
ORIGIN: 1543, from Middle Latin anodynus “pain-removing,” from Latin anodynus “painless,” from Greek anodynos “free from pain,” from an- “without” + odyne “pain,” a word perhaps from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to eat.”

2 thoughts on “New Words: anodyne

  1. I learned about this word in an Emily Dickinson poem:
    The heart asks pleasure first,
    And then, excuse from pain;
    And then, those little anodynes
    That deaden suffering
    It is a great word.

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