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An anesthetic is a substance that doctors use on people. It makes them either stop hurting, or go completely to sleep during surgery. Anesthetic can be given as rubbed onto the skin, as an injection ("shot"), or as a gas to breathe. Anaesthetic (anaesthesia), blocks the pain during operations. This lets patients undergo surgery and other procedures without the distress and pain they would normally feel. It comes from Greek roots an-, "without" and aesthetos, "perceptible, able to feel".