drug

1 of 3

noun

plural drugs
1
a
: a substance used as a medication or in the preparation of medication
b according to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
(1)
: a substance recognized in an official pharmacopoeia or formulary (see formulary sense 3)
(2)
: a substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease
prescription drugs
drugs for treating high blood pressure
(3)
: a substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body
(4)
: a substance intended for use as a component of a medicine but not a device or a component, part, or accessory of a device
2
: something and often an illegal substance that causes addiction, habituation (see habituation sense 2b), or a marked change in consciousness
keeping teens off drugs
heroin and other hard drugs
3
: a commodity that is not salable or for which there is no demand (see demand entry 1 sense 3a)
used in the phrase drug on the market
4
obsolete : a substance used in dyeing or chemical operations

drug

2 of 3

verb

drugged; drugging

transitive verb

1
: to affect with a drug (see drug entry 1)
especially : to stupefy by a narcotic drug
looks like he's been drugged
2
: to administer a drug to
drugged against pain
3
: to lull or stupefy as if with a drug
the kind of overly familiar music that delights most audiences and drugs most critics Time

intransitive verb

: to take drugs for narcotic effect

drug

3 of 3

dialectal past tense of drag

Example Sentences

Noun a new drug used to treat people with high blood pressure an experimental drug for the treatment of AIDS Have you ever taken any illegal drugs? I don't smoke, drink, or do drugs. Verb He looks like he's been drugged. Someone could have drugged your drink. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the first drug to delay the onset of Type 1 diabetes. Berkeley Lovelace Jr., NBC News, 18 Nov. 2022 The Food and Drug Administration could decide whether to approve the drug as soon as January. Laurie Mcginley, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Nov. 2022 The drug removed less beta amyloid than expected, which some scientists suggest explains its failure. Byscience News Staff, science.org, 17 Nov. 2022 Users typically die from asphyxiation from the drug’s effect of depressing the respiratory system. oregonlive, 17 Nov. 2022 But according to a 2021 report by NIDA, methadone diversion is most common when the drug is used to treat pain, not opioid use disorders. Kerry Breen, CBS News, 17 Nov. 2022 By the same token, Pandit says, the uncertainty about rebound is almost certainly making people hesitant to use the drug. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 16 Nov. 2022 The vaccine could help people who are addicted get off the drug. Alexa Mikhail, Fortune, 16 Nov. 2022 Investigators said the evidence suggest the killing was drug related. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 8 Nov. 2022
Verb
That dispiriting defeat, after 20 years of hard fighting against a determined enemy, no doubt contributes to the malaise driving soldiers to drug themselves with opioids and other toxic narcotics. Seth Harp, Rolling Stone, 4 Sep. 2022 Because they’d been found on bodies of dead animals at the bottom of the sea, they drug whale carcasses and other dead animals out and sank them to the bottom. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 29 Aug. 2022 Linda Joy Traitz, a former waitress at a restaurant owned in part by Cosby, wrote a long Facebook post accusing him of trying to drug her in the early '70s. Chris Francescani, ABC News, 30 June 2021 Huntsville police drug their feet in working with the committee. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, 28 Apr. 2021 One chapter was about a profoundly disabled man who tried and then tried again to starve himself to death—until finally, at his rabid insistence, his mother agreed to drug him and hold a plastic bag over his head. Katie Engelhart, The Atlantic, 2 Mar. 2021 The famed comedian’s first trial, on charges of drugging and assaulting one woman, ended with a hung jury in June 2017. Deanna Paul, WSJ, 22 Jan. 2020 Another consultant delivered similar findings in early 2013, although his credibility was undermined when he was accused of drugging and assaulting several women in Portland. oregonlive, 15 Apr. 2020 Shortly after Garrison left the company, an employee named Mary Ann Olszewski sued Bloomberg LP in 1996, alleging that she was drugged and raped by her supervisor. Michael Kranish, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Feb. 2020 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English drogge

First Known Use

Noun

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Verb

1667, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of drug was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near drug

Cite this Entry

“Drug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drug. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

drug 1 of 2

noun

1
: a substance used as a medicine or in making medicines
2
: something for which there is no demand
used in the phrase drug on the market
3
: a usually illegal substance (as heroin, LSD, or cocaine) that affects bodily activities often in a harmful way and is taken for other than medical reasons

drug

2 of 2

verb

drugged; drugging
1
: to affect or treat with a drug
especially : to make dull or numb by a narcotic drug
2
: to lull or make dull or numb as if with a drug

Medical Definition

drug 1 of 2

noun

1
a
: a substance used as a medication or in the preparation of medication
b according to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
(1)
: a substance recognized in an official pharmacopoeia or formulary
(2)
: a substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease
(3)
: a substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body
(4)
: a substance intended for use as a component of a medicine but not a device or a component, part, or accessory of a device
2
: something and often an illicit substance that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness

drug

2 of 2

verb

drugged; drugging

transitive verb

1
: to affect with a drug
especially : to stupefy by a narcotic drug
2
: to administer a drug to

intransitive verb

: to take drugs for narcotic effect

More from Merriam-Webster on drug

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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