gateway drug


Definition of gateway drug

: a drug (such as alcohol or marijuana) whose use is thought to lead to the use of and dependence on a harder drug (such as cocaine or heroin)

Examples of gateway drug in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Congress’s gateway drug to spending is back, and Members are already on their way to mainlining. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 10 June 2021 In every other sport in the world, particularly those with visions of expansion, international competition is the gateway drug. Mike Meehall Wood, Forbes, 25 May 2021 May is manic and momentous, a meteorological gateway drug to summer. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 11 May 2021 The district attorneys say marijuana is a gateway drug and that there is a dishonest effort to convince the public otherwise. Mike Cason |, al, 28 Apr. 2021 Earmarks have historically been the gateway drug to out-of-control spending. Lindsay Wise, WSJ, 26 Apr. 2021 Cannabis only drew connotations of nickel and dime bags, and as a gateway drug that would eventually lead you down a dark path. Siraad Dirshe,, 20 Apr. 2021 If weed is indeed a gateway drug, Waking Life is something like a gateway film. Vulture Editors, Vulture, 20 Apr. 2021 In the same way Docs are a gateway drug into style, so Rick has become an entry point into fashion. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 15 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gateway 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 gateway drug

1981, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for gateway drug

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The first known use of gateway drug was in 1981

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Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gateway drug.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for gateway drug

gateway drug


English Language Learners Definition of gateway drug

: a drug (such as alcohol or marijuana) that is thought to lead to the use of more dangerous drugs (such as cocaine or heroin)

gateway drug

gate·​way drug | \ ˈgāt-ˌwā- How to pronounce gateway drug (audio) \

Medical Definition of gateway drug

: a drug (such as alcohol or marijuana) whose use is thought to lead to the use of and dependence on more dangerous, addicting substances (such as cocaine or heroin) To end at the beginning, nicotine … is now considered a "gateway drug," as it commonly precedes and is comorbid with other substance use.— Donald A. Henderson, The Journal of the American Medical Association, 9 June 1999


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