pey·​o·​te | \pā-ˈō-tē \
variants: or less commonly peyotl \ pā-​ˈō-​tᵊl \

Definition of peyote 

1 : a hallucinogenic drug containing mescaline that is derived from the dried discoid tops of a cactus (Lophophora williamsii) and is used especially in the religious ceremonies of some American Indian peoples — see peyote button

2 : a small, low, spineless cactus (Lophophora williamsii) of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico with rounded stems having jointed tubercles with tufts of usually woolly hairs

called also mescal

Illustration of peyote

Illustration of peyote

peyote 2

Examples of peyote in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

After obtaining a search warrant for the home, deputies found six pots of peyote cactus and two jars of the drug, totaling 1,900 grams, along with the other drugs and plants. Dana Burke, Houston Chronicle, "Katy man allegedly caught growing peyote, marijuana in his home," 12 June 2018 Despite taking place in the same year as Huxley’s peyote trials, Michaux recounts his experience completely differently. Emily Heller, Vox, "Michael Pollan recommends 4 books that will change the way you think about your brain," 15 May 2018 The same thing that allows Indians, Native Americans, to use peyote. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Author Michael Pollan on Recode Decode," 22 May 2018 The elderly man shared his knowledge of shamanism, yoga, kung fu, and peyote, which Castaneda wrote about in several books. Los Angeles Magazine, "A Brief History of L.A.’s Most Notorious Cults," 23 Apr. 2018 The Chip Kelly era—a three-season peyote trip—was weird and wild, but also produced two 10-win seasons. Conor Orr,, "Which Fan Base Is the Most Miserable? Ranking the Vikings, Eagles, Jaguars and Patriots," 19 Jan. 2018 The case before the court arose when two Native Americans were fired for having used peyote during a religious ceremony. David G. Savage,, "Ghost of Justice Scalia looms as Supreme Court debates religion and civil rights law," 13 Dec. 2017 The languid moodiness of True Detective’s first season, mired in the mystic culture and history of rural Louisiana, looked more like lumpy, peyote-swigging fan fiction when the show was rebooted in exurban California a year later. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Strange Confusion of Top of the Lake: China Girl," 12 Sep. 2017 Millions of baby boomers were coming of age and starting to experiment on their own with LSD, magic mushrooms, peyote, and other hallucinogens. Don Lattin, Slate Magazine, "The War on Drugs Halted Research Into the Potential Benefits of Psychedelics," 3 Jan. 2017

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

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for peyote

Mexican Spanish peyote, from Nahuatl peyotl peyote cactus

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The first known use of peyote was in 1849

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pey·​o·​te | \pā-ˈōt-ē \
variants: also peyotl \ -​ˈōt-​ᵊl \

Medical Definition of peyote 

1 : a hallucinogenic drug containing mescaline that is derived from peyote buttons and used especially in the religious ceremonies of some American Indian peoples

2 : a small spineless cactus of the genus Lophophora (L. williamsii) of the southwestern United States and Mexico having rounded stems covered with jointed tubercules

called also mescal

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playful or foolish behavior

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