A trigger is something which causes something to start, e.g. caffeine and stress can be triggers for palpitations. Is there an opposite noun, a single word meaning "something which causes something to stop?" E.g. "Exercise can be a [thing which stops/mitigates/reduces] palpitations."

  • Do you want a verb or a noun?
    – David
    Oct 9, 2019 at 17:14
  • I'm looking for a noun. The closest I can think of is an inhibiting factor or mitigating factor.
    – Lou
    Oct 9, 2019 at 18:14
  • 2
    Uh, how about a "stop"?
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 9, 2019 at 19:27
  • 1
    a "stopper", not to be confused with a "block" that blocks something.
    – vectory
    Oct 9, 2019 at 20:42
  • @vectory - Stopper has a specific, special meaning. You put it in the drain of a sink or bathtub to prevent the water from flowing out. Oct 10, 2019 at 6:13

5 Answers 5


The scientific biological terms would be:

inhibitor (noun), inhibit (verb)

or in pharmacology (as you mention caffeine)

antagonist (noun), antogonize (verb)

although this latter tends to be used in relation to specific biological components, rather than an overall process.

In general speech there are several verbs that you could use, but perhaps fewer nouns. Possibilities that occur are:

block (on)

preventive (against)

But if you have heart palpitations I would see a doctor before exercising.




An inhibitor is a substance or material that slows down or halts some activity. This word is popular in the chemistry lab, but you might also hear it at a garage. ... Different substances are inhibitors for different reactions and activities. Think of an inhibitor as chemistry's way of saying "Slow down!" or "Stop!"

If you then look up synonyms for 'inhibitor', there will be many more options.


"Ender". "destroyer", "preventionist" (just made that up, but I like it), "abolitionist", the list goes on. It would help to see this in context. Can you show us how you want to use it? Does this word have to refer to something that stops everything (such a word I don't think exists) or something that stops a certain subset of things? Additionally, if it's the latter, does that thing have to stop those other things as a matter of course, or can it choose not to? ("Executive" would be an example of this.)


The word DETERRENT can be used dictionary meaning of which is something " preventing something from happening" and can be used both as an adjective or noun

deterrent (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/deterrent) Pronunciation - (British) IPA: /dɪˈtɛɹənt/ Adjective 1. Serving to deter, preventing something from happening.


deterrent (plural deterrents)

  1. Something that deters.
  • Please include a link. Oct 10, 2019 at 6:11

A brake causes something to slow down or stop.

brake Merriam-Webster

something used to slow down or stop movement or activity

Your example sentence, though I am not sure of its veracity, would be:

"Exercise can act as a break to palpitations/anxiety."

  • Hmm. You want break or brake? They're different. Oct 10, 2019 at 6:10
  • figurative and literal use of the noun break
    – lbf
    Oct 10, 2019 at 12:01

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