opium poppy


Definition of opium poppy

: an annual Eurasian poppy (Papaver somniferum) cultivated since antiquity as the source of opium, for its edible oily seeds, or for its showy flowers

Examples of opium poppy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Biden administration is expected to continue backing law enforcement efforts to eradicate coca, cannabis and opium poppy fields in Latin America while targeting cartels. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Los Angeles Times, "On Latin America, Biden’s brand of diplomacy will be a major shift from Trump," 15 Nov. 2020 In recent years, its opium poppy fields have been giving way to jungle laboratories, as the demand for synthetic drugs outstrips the demand for heroin. Preeti Jha, CNN, "Asia's prisons are filling up with women. Many are victims of the war on drugs," 17 Aug. 2020 The building that previously housed soldiers between missions to eradicate opium poppy crops is now outfitted for up to 100 patients infected with the coronavirus. Washington Post, "Despite COVID surge, Mexico avoids overwhelmed hospitals," 1 July 2020 The country accounts for more than 90% of the world’s opium poppy cultivation. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Trump’s campaign juggernaut," 14 Feb. 2020 The United States has spent about $9 billion to fight the problem over the past 18 years, but Afghan farmers are cultivating more opium poppies than ever. Craig Whitlock, Anchorage Daily News, "Confidential documents reveal U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan," 9 Dec. 2019 Hardscrabble Afghan farmers have been growing varieties of the opium poppy - Papaver somniferum - for generations. Craig Whitlock, Anchorage Daily News, "In confidential documents, U.S. officials said almost everything they did to end opium farming in Afghanistan backfired," 9 Dec. 2019 And while opium poppy growth has long been a financial foundation for the Taliban, methamphetamines have quietly appeared across Afghanistan in increasing quantities. BostonGlobe.com, "KABUL — At least 30 civilians were killed by US airstrikes that targeted drug labs in western Afghanistan this spring, according to a United Nations report released Wednesday, a figure that the US-led mission in the country quickly disputed.," 10 Oct. 2019 Opium: How an Ancient Flower Shaped and Poisoned Our World by John H. Halpern and David Blistein Hachette Books, 2019 ($29) Humanity's complicated relationship with the opium poppy dates back to our earliest civilizations. Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American, "The History of Opium, Facing Up to Quantum Mechanics and Other New Science Books," 13 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of opium poppy

1849, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about opium poppy

Time Traveler for opium poppy

Time Traveler

The first known use of opium poppy was in 1849

See more words from the same year

Statistics for opium poppy

Last Updated

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Opium poppy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opium%20poppy. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for opium poppy

opium poppy


Medical Definition of opium poppy

: an annual Eurasian poppy (Papaver somniferum) cultivated since antiquity as the source of opium, for its edible oily seeds, or for its showy flowers

More from Merriam-Webster on opium poppy

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about opium poppy

Comments on opium poppy

What made you want to look up opium poppy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!