opi·​ate | \ ˈō-pē-ət How to pronounce opiate (audio) , -ˌāt \

Definition of opiate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a drug (such as morphine or codeine) containing or derived from opium and tending to induce sleep and alleviate pain broadly : narcotic sense 1a
2 : something that induces rest or inaction or quiets uneasiness regarded television as an opiate



Definition of opiate (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : containing or mixed with opium
b : of, relating to, binding, or being an opiate opiate receptors
2a : inducing sleep : narcotic
b : causing dullness or inaction

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Synonyms & Antonyms for opiate

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of opiate in a Sentence

Noun Many see television as an opiate of the masses. a cultural critic who argues that the Internet has now joined television as an opiate of the American people Adjective morphine is an opiate drug
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun According to an administrative complaint, Hall treated C.B. in June 2013 for opiate addiction and Suboxone maintenance. Christine Sexton, sun-sentinel.com, "South Florida doctor to pay $10K in settlement over patient information posted on Yelp," 6 Dec. 2019 The spike in meth use coincides with an existing opiate crisis, and many people have turned to using both the depressant and stimulant. oregonlive, "Homeless with HIV: A lack of housing makes a preventable disease deadly in Oregon," 10 Nov. 2019 But methadone prescribed for opiate addiction is so highly regulated that users don’t get enough to overdose, according to behavioral-health experts at the state Health Care Authority. Claudia Rowe, The Seattle Times, "‘Those were the darkest days’: How key budget cuts fueled Washington’s opioid crisis," 18 Aug. 2019 Eubanks would tell audiences that his unwillingness to feel his emotional pain led to his opiate addiction. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks died of accidental heroin overdose, coroner says," 14 June 2019 For the first time, marijuana surpassed opiates in 2019 as the top drug among students struggling with addictions at William J. Ostiguy High School, a recovery school in Boston. BostonGlobe.com, "center for community health improvement," 31 Dec. 2019 Natural opiates sourced from poppy plants, like opium, have been consumed on the continent for centuries -- both as a painkiller and smoked as a recreational drug. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Synthetic opioids like fentanyl ravaged the US during the last decade. They may do even more damage to Asia in the next," 29 Dec. 2019 The primary killer in the area region is fentanyl, a synthetic opiate that's generally is made oversees in rogue factories and often taints other drugs, according to the latest information from the Hamilton County Coroner's Office. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "States get OK to shift U.S. opioid funding to growing meth, cocaine problems," 26 Dec. 2019 Cole said he got hooked on opiates when he was diagnosed with cancer as a kid, but eventually turned to marijuana. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Ohioans are crossing border for Michigan marijuana, but police keeping an eye on state line," 24 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Her pupils were constricted, which is a sign of opiate use, according to the statement. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Gwynn Oak man charged with rape, assault in Westminster," 18 Nov. 2019 Richie Johnson suffered from an opiate pill addiction. oregonlive, "Dad who found 27-year-old son dead from methadone intoxication addresses his son’s drug supplier in court," 13 Nov. 2019 This highlights the extreme danger associated with opiate addictions. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Three people died of suspected overdoses in West Allis on the same day," 13 Aug. 2019 Many of these tests of psilocybin are novel: The studies on anorexia, Alzheimer’s, opiate addiction, and Lyme disease will all be the first of their kind. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "A multi-million dollar donation just created a bonanza of magic mushroom research," 4 Sep. 2019 On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Concord, N.H., touting a federal plan to get tougher on fentanyl dealers in cities hit hardest by the opiate abuse crisis. Yvonne Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "The truth about Lawrence," 14 July 2018 To this administration, opiate addiction isn’t primarily about demand — about treating addicts and saving lives. Yvonne Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "The truth about Lawrence," 14 July 2018 The Nebraska State Patrol seized 118 pounds of fentanyl in April, making it the largest seizure of the opiate drug in the state's history. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Near a Nebraska town, cops seize enough opioids to kill over 26 million," 26 May 2018 The Obama Foundation Fellowship selected Kang to keep up his civic engagement by building a comprehensive continuum of care for those with opiate addiction. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "'There is hope.' Mercy Health psychologist gets Obama fellowship for addiction work," 24 Apr. 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for opiate

Time Traveler

The first known use of opiate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for opiate

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Opiate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opiate. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for opiate


How to pronounce opiate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of opiate

: a drug (such as morphine or codeine) that is made from opium and that is used to reduce pain or cause sleep
disapproving : something that causes people to ignore problems and to relax instead of doing things that need to be done


opi·​ate | \ ˈō-pē-ət How to pronounce opiate (audio) , -ˌāt How to pronounce opiate (audio) \

Medical Definition of opiate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a drug (as morphine, heroin, and codeine) containing or derived from opium and tending to induce sleep and to alleviate pain broadly : narcotic sense 1
2 : opioid sense 1 not used technically



Medical Definition of opiate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being opium or an opium derivative
2 : of, relating to, binding, or being an opiate opiate receptors

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More from Merriam-Webster on opiate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for opiate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with opiate

Spanish Central: Translation of opiate

Nglish: Translation of opiate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about opiate

Comments on opiate

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experienced by way of someone else

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