Definition of opium
1 : a bitter brownish addictive narcotic drug that consists of the dried latex obtained from immature seed capsules of the opium poppy
2 : something having an effect like that of opium
Recent Examples of opium from the Web
Prescriptions will be required in all cases to get codeine, opium and similar drugs under Special Session Assembly Bill 4.
Large stretches of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, source of much of the world's illegal opium supply, are in the hands of Taliban fighters, who have steadily pushed back Afghan forces that now control less than 60 percent of the country.
Opioid is a broad term that refers to drugs derived from opium and, more often, synthetic drugs that have similar effects.
Opioids include synthetic pain relievers plus substances that are derived from the opium poppy, mainly heroin.
In Miller's final episode, his character Erlich was abandoned by Gavin (Matt Ross) in Tibetan drug house, where a man was paid to host opium-loving Erlich for five years.
Corrupt government officials also benefit from the production and trade of opium, the raw material for heroin.
While most sold real medicines, some of their products, Dr. Klein said, were laced with small amounts of heroin or opium, which druggists used, intentionally or not, to make the customers feel good and get them addicted to their products.
As a result, tens of thousands of farmers have returned to the lucrative business of growing opium poppies.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opium'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of opium
Middle English, from Latin, from Greek opion, from diminutive of opos sap
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
OPIUM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of opium for English Language Learners
: a powerful illegal drug that is made from a type of poppy
OPIUM Defined for Kids
Definition of opium for Students
: a bitter brownish narcotic drug that is the dried juice of a poppy of Europe and Asia
Medical Definition of opium
: a highly addictive drug that consists of the dried milky juice from the seed capsules of the opium poppy obtained from incisions made in the unripe capsules of the plant, that has a brownish yellow color, a faint smell, and a bitter and acrid taste, that is a stimulant narcotic usually producing a feeling of well-being, hallucinations, and drowsiness terminating in coma or death if the dose is excessive, that was formerly used in medicine to soothe pain but is now often replaced by derivative alkaloids (as morphine or codeine) or synthetic substitutes, and that is smoked illicitly as an intoxicant with harmful effects
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