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any of a group of barbituric acid derivatives, used in medicine as sedatives and hypnotics.
Contemporary Examples

His sister, Leila, was found dead in a London hotel room in 2001 after taking an overdose of barbiturates.
Prince Ali Reza Pahlavi Suicide: Tragic End to Iran’s Dynasty Stephen Kinzer January 4, 2011

She had taken an overdose of barbiturates, whether deliberately or accidentally it was impossible to tell.
Gertrude of Arabia, the Woman Who Invented Iraq Clive Irving June 16, 2014

In July, with their adult children standing next to them, they drank a cocktail of barbiturates and sank into the deepest sleep.
Bring On the Death Panels! Eric Pape September 7, 2009

Like all barbiturates, it can overwhelm alertness to the point of stopping the urge to breathe.
The Death Penalty’s Gruesome Truth Kent Sepkowitz February 5, 2014

a derivative of barbituric acid, such as phenobarbital, used in medicine as a sedative, hypnotic, or anticonvulsant

1928 (morphine barbiturate is from 1918), from German, coined 1863 by chemist Adolf von Baeyer (1835-1917) from Barbitursäure “barbituric acid,” itself coined by Baeyer, perhaps from woman’s name Barbara, or perhaps from Latin barbata, in Medieval Latin usnea barbata, literally “bearded moss.” Second element is because it was obtained from uric acid. With chemical ending -ate (3).

barbiturate bar·bi·tu·rate (bär-bĭch’ər-ĭt, -ə-rāt’, bär’bĭ-tur’ĭt, -āt’, -tyur’-)

A salt or ester of barbituric acid.

Any of a group of barbituric acid derivatives that act as central nervous system depressants and are used as sedatives or hypnotics.

Any of a group of drugs that act as depressants of the central nervous system, are highly addictive, and are used primarily as sedatives and anticonvulsants. Phenobarbital and pentobarbital are examples of barbiturates.
barbiturates [(bahr-bich-uh-rits, bahr-bich-uh-rayts)]

Substances derived from an organic compound that are used as sedatives and sleep inducers. Barbiturates, which work by depressing the activity of the central nervous system, are sometimes used in the treatment of illnesses such as epilepsy.


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