What's the difference between the words "anesthesia" and "anesthetic"?

closed as off-topic by curiousdannii, Hellion, cobaltduck, FumbleFingers, Drew Aug 12 '16 at 15:51

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    What does the dictionary tell you? Can you add that information to your question please, along with the aspects of it which you still don't understand. – Max Williams Aug 12 '16 at 14:52

Anesthesia refers to the state of being insensitive to pain. "He was given anesthesia."

Anesthetic refers to the substance or other method by which the state is induced. "He was given an anesthetic."

  • I don't think He was given anesthesia is a very natural usage - it would be like saying He was given numbness. A more obvious (syntactic) distinction would be that unlike anesthesia, anesthetic can also be used adjectivally. – FumbleFingers Aug 12 '16 at 15:13
  • How would you consider "he was put under anesthesia"? That seems to be very common, but using the definition of anesthesia as a state ("he was put under numbness"), it doesn't work either. – Renée Velocity Aug 12 '16 at 15:24
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    My apologies. I've just made a "non-edit" to your text so I could cancel my downvote. Looking at this NGram it seems that even with the BrE corpus and spelling, under anaesthesia is still more common under anaesthetic (though it does rather look as thought the trend is towards the version I'm more familiar with). – FumbleFingers Aug 12 '16 at 17:38

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