designer drug

noun

Definition of designer drug 

1 : a synthetic version of a controlled substance (such as heroin) that is produced with a slightly altered molecular structure to avoid having it classified as an illicit drug

2 : a synthetic, therapeutic agent designed to have a highly selective mode of action so that effectiveness is maximized and side effects are minimized compared with existing therapies

Examples of designer drug in a Sentence

Ecstasy is a designer drug.

Recent Examples on the Web

Worryingly, people who overdose on such designer drugs, known collectively as China White, have been said to be less responsive to antidotes now widely carried by first responders. Anna Edney, Anchorage Daily News, "Research on deadly illegal opioid blocked by federal stalemate," 20 Apr. 2018 Worryingly, people who overdose on such designer drugs, known collectively as China White, have been said to be less responsive to antidotes now widely carried by first responders. Anna Edney, Anchorage Daily News, "Research on deadly illegal opioid blocked by federal stalemate," 20 Apr. 2018 Worryingly, people who overdose on such designer drugs, known collectively as China White, have been said to be less responsive to antidotes now widely carried by first responders. Anna Edney, Anchorage Daily News, "Research on deadly illegal opioid blocked by federal stalemate," 20 Apr. 2018 Worryingly, people who overdose on such designer drugs, known collectively as China White, have been said to be less responsive to antidotes now widely carried by first responders. Anna Edney, Anchorage Daily News, "Research on deadly illegal opioid blocked by federal stalemate," 20 Apr. 2018 Some sort of new/designer drug not written into the rules cannot be the cause of a penalty. Profootballdoc, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Julian Edelman couldn't be suspended for unrecognizable substance," 12 June 2018 Georgia law enforcement officials noted in June that other states had warned that naloxone might not work in users who'd ingested a designer drug called acrylfentanyl. Anna Edney, Anchorage Daily News, "Research on deadly illegal opioid blocked by federal stalemate," 20 Apr. 2018 Georgia law-enforcement officials noted in June that other states had warned that naloxone might not work in users who’d ingested a designer drug called acrylfentanyl. Fortune, "'And Then You Die.' Research on Deadly Opioid Fentanyl Blocked by Federal Stalemate," 19 Apr. 2018 Worryingly, people who overdose on such designer drugs, known collectively as China White, have been said to be less responsive to antidotes now widely carried by first responders. Anna Edney, Anchorage Daily News, "Research on deadly illegal opioid blocked by federal stalemate," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'designer drug.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of designer drug

1983, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for designer drug

The first known use of designer drug was in 1983

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More Definitions for designer drug

designer drug

noun

English Language Learners Definition of designer drug

: a drug that is created to be only slightly different from an illegal drug so that it will not be considered illegal

: an artificially made drug that is used for pleasure

designer drug

noun
de·sign·er drug | \di-ˌzī-nər- \

Medical Definition of designer drug 

1 : a synthetic version of a controlled substance (such as heroin) that is produced with a slightly altered molecular structure to avoid classification as an illicit drug Los Angeles County health officials warned Tuesday against the use of bath salts—the designer drug involved in a series of bizarre incidents and arrests …— Wesley Lowery, The Los Angeles Times, 17 Oct. 2012 … the firm is involved in the illegal production and sale of MDMA, a designer drug commonly known as “ecstasy.”Time, 6 Mar. 1989

2 : a synthetic, therapeutic agent designed to have a highly selective mode of action so that effectiveness is maximized and side effects are minimized compared with existing therapies In contrast to past trial-and-error discovery, we are starting to see designer drugs that target known sites on molecules implicated in disease.— Nathaniel C. Comfort, The New York Times Book Review, 9 Sept. 2001 Results of another dramatic prevention study zeroed in on raloxifene, a chemical cousin of tamoxifen, and one of the first so-called estrogen designer drugs.— Patricia Guthrie, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 24 May 1998

designer drug

noun
de·sign·er drug

Legal Definition of designer drug 

: a synthetic version of a controlled substance (as heroin) that is produced with a slightly altered molecular structure to avoid having it classified as an illegal drug

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