recreational drug

noun

: a drug (such as cocaine, marijuana, or methamphetamine) used without medical justification for its psychoactive effects often in the belief that occasional use of such a substance is not habit-forming or addictive

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Others can be caused by scarring of the heart tissue, thickened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), heart medications, blood vessel abnormalities and recreational drug use. Dallas News, 24 Jan. 2023 Harry’s revelations have included details of a physical fight with his elder brother, Prince William, recreational drug use, and tensions between Meghan and other royals. Adela Suliman, Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2023 This receptor is responsible for causing the psychoactive effects that are associated with recreational drug use. Atticus Mckittrick, Discover Magazine, 19 Oct. 2022 Over the years, the topic of recreational drug use has come up a lot on Housewives. Louis Staples, Vulture, 12 Oct. 2022 The slightly pungent scent of marijuana drifts in from a room off the kitchen, where joints are passed among a dozen people, some of them old enough to have been smoking marijuana as a recreational drug since the 1960s. Sherry Baker, Discover Magazine, 25 Mar. 2019 Family attorneys and advocates say this posture toward addiction and recreational drug use punishes many parents whose children may not be in danger. Suzy Khimm, NBC News, 20 Dec. 2022 Family attorneys and advocates say this posture toward addiction and recreational drug use punishes many parents whose children may not be in danger. Agnel Philip, ProPublica, 20 Dec. 2022 Tom Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, said his members are skeptical about allowing medical cannabis in schools given pot’s history as a recreational drug. Dan Adams, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1967, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of recreational drug was in 1967

Dictionary Entries Near recreational drug

Cite this Entry

“Recreational drug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recreational%20drug. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition

recreational drug

noun
rec·​re·​a·​tion·​al drug ˌrek-rē-ˈā-sh(ə-)nəl- How to pronounce recreational drug (audio)
: a drug (as cocaine, marijuana, or methamphetamine) used without medical justification for its psychoactive effects often in the belief that occasional use of such a substance is not habit-forming or addictive
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY