gateway drug

noun

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

My wife thinks the experience will be my gateway drug. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "Bear With Me? Get It Away!," 26 July 2018 But in the movie, that act is merely a gateway drug to the full-on loopiness that follows. Vann R. Newkirk Ii, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Is a Dystopian Send-Up of Dystopias," 13 July 2018 This is gateway drug comedy, low commitment and easygoing. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Your Handy Guide To Netflix's Newest Most Bingeable Show," 3 July 2018 This is a miss to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who last year called marijuana a gateway drug. Fox News, "Trump escalates trade war tensions with tariff threat," 24 June 2018 The ban stemmed from a fear that pinball was somehow a gateway drug to a life of crime. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "News / Technology / The Internet Video games are public enemy #1 . . . again," 19 June 2018 At a congressional hearing in 2007, a United States attorney was grilled about the Justice Department’s settlement earlier that year with the company over its prescription painkiller, which had become the gateway drug to America’s opioid epidemic. Barry Meier, Time, "Why Drug Company Executives Haven’t Really Seen Justice for Their Role in the Opioid Crisis," 15 June 2018 All-Purpose Spray DIY all-purpose spray is a great gateway drug for those looking to develop a homemade cleaning products habit. Jolie Kerr, Country Living, "6 DIY Cleaning Products You Can Easily Make at Home," 19 Mar. 2015 Marijuana is not a gateway drug as much as alcohol or as much as opioids. Holly Otterbein, Philly.com, "A Q&A Larry Arata, a teacher who ran for Congress to fight the opioid crisis | #PA5," 14 May 2018

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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Statistics for gateway drug

Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for gateway drug

The first known use of gateway drug was in 1981

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More Definitions for gateway drug

gateway drug

noun

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

noun
gate·​way drug | \ˈgāt-ˌwā- \

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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