A patient receiving anaesthesia.
A person undergoing major surgery is an example of a person who is in a state of anaesthesia.
(countable and uncountable, plural anaesthesias)
- (medicine) A method of preventing sensation, used to eliminate pain.
- Loss or prevention of pain, as caused by anesthesia.
an- + aesthesia, from Ancient Greek ἀναισθησία (anaisthēsia), from ἀν- (an, “not”) with αἴσθησις (aisthēsis, “sensation”).
Coined in 1846 CE by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., in a letter to dentist William T. G. Morton, the first practitioner to publicly demonstrate the use of ether during surgery, writing:
- Everybody wants to have a hand in a great discovery. All I will do is to give a hint or two as to names—or the name—to be applied to the state produced and the agent. The state should, I think, be called ‘Anaesthesia.’ This signifies insensibility—more particularly ... to objects of touch.