ANNUNCIATION, the announcement made by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary of the incarnation of Christ (Luke i. 26-38). A festival commemorative of the annunciation is kept by the church on the 25th of March. The first authentic allusions to it are in a canon of the Council of Toledo (656:A.D.), and another of the Council of Trullo (692), forbidding the celebration of all festivals in Lent, excepting the Lord's day and the Feast of the Annunciation. An earlier origin has been claimed for it on the ground that it is mentioned in sermons of Athanasins and of Gregory Thaumaturgus, but both these documents are now admitted to be spurious.
ANODYNE (a privative, and 48151,77, pain), denotes etymologically anything which relieves pain. The common usage of the word restricts it, however, to medicines which lessen the sensibility of the brain or nervous system, without acting directly on the cause of pain. The anodynes generally employed are opium, henbane, hemlock, tobacco, stramonium, andfchloroform.