Earliest English Definitions of Anaisthesia and Anaesthesia

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Abstract

The earliest identified English definition of the word anaisthesia was discovered in the first edition (1684) of A Physical Dictionary, an English translation of Steven Blankaart’s medical dictionary, Lexicon Medicum Graeco-Latinum. This definition was almost certainly the source of the definition of anaesthesia which appeared in Dictionarium Anglo-Britannicum (1708), a general-purpose English dictionary compiled by the lexicographer John Kersey. The words anaisthesia and anaesthesia have not been identified in English medical or surgical publications that antedate the earliest English dictionaries in which they are known to have been defined.

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