marijuana

noun
mar·​i·​jua·​na | \ ˌmer-ə-ˈwä-nə How to pronounce marijuana (audio) , ˌma-rə- also -ˈhwä- \
variants: or less commonly marihuana

Definition of marijuana

1 : the psychoactive dried resinous flower buds and leaves of the female hemp or cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa or C. indica) that contain high levels of THC and are smoked, vaped, or ingested (as in baked goods) especially for their intoxicating effect : cannabis

Note: Several substances (as cannabidiol) lacking psychoactive properties are extracted from the flower buds of marijuana and are used medicinally.

— compare bhang, hashish — see also medical marijuana

Examples of marijuana in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Stefan Langer, who uses medical marijuana to treat his A.D.H.D., founded Bavaria Weed. New York Times, 5 Jan. 2022 Whittington also made headlines after being convicted in a multi-million dollar marijuana trafficking scheme that funded or partially funded high-end racing teams. Johnny Magdaleno, The Indianapolis Star, 1 Jan. 2022 Ohio lawmakers approved a limited medical marijuana in 2016, although smokable forms of cannabis are not permitted under the program. A.j. Herrington, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Changes in House Bill 122 allow doctors to prescribe certain drugs and medical marijuana via telehealth. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 23 Dec. 2021 Federal prosecutors accuse Ravenell of crossing the line with one longtime client, a Baltimore marijuana kingpin, helping to launder money, tamper with witnesses and advise drug dealers how to stay ahead of law enforcement. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, 22 Dec. 2021 Cities have taken different approaches to selling medical marijuana. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 6 Dec. 2021 Patients must have a qualifying health condition to receive medical marijuana. Skyler Swisher, orlandosentinel.com, 2 Dec. 2021 But Taiwan and South Korea have both legalized medical marijuana amid mounting evidence of its efficacy. New York Times, 27 Oct. 2021

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

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for marijuana

borrowed from Mexican Spanish mariguana, marihuana, of uncertain origin

Note: The etymology of Mexican Spanish mariguana, marihuana remains elusive despite much hypothesizing. The first known attestation of the word is in a pharmacopoeia compiled by the newly founded Mexican pharmaceutical academy (Farmacopea mexicana formada y publicada por la Academia Farmacéutica de la Capital de la República, México, 1846); in the text mariguana is a cross-reference to Rosa María, defined as "cáñamo del pais.—Canavis indicus. Hojas. Narcótico" ("country hemp.—Canavis [i.e., Cannabis] indicus. Leaves. Narcotic") (p. 41). The word reappears in the Lecciones de farmacología (Guadalajara, 1853) by Leonardo Oliva (1814-72), chair of pharmacology at the University of Guadalajara. Oliva alludes to the consumption of the plant ("Las hojas fumadas como lo hacen los Hotentotes segun Sparrman i como tambíen lo hacen algunos mejicanos, producen embriaguez é ilusiones sin acarrear la irritacion gastrica, ni otros efectos que ocasionan los alcoholicos …" – "The leaves when smoked, as the Hottentots do according to Sparrman and as certain Mexicans do, produce intoxication and illusions without resulting in the gastric irritation and other side-effects caused by alcoholic drinks …"). Oliva may also have been the first writer to speculate on the origin of the word: "Marihuana…Planta … cuyo nombre acaso está formado de la voz Mari significando Maria i la palabra Huana significando Rosa, ignoro á que idioma pertenece: será planta que como otras muchas pasó á Mejico del Asia antes de la conquista, como parece demostrarlo en cierto modo su nombre americanizado?" ("Marihuana …A plant … whose name is perhaps formed from the word Mari, meaning Maria, and the word Huana, meaning Rosa, from which language I don't know: may it be a plant that like many others passed from Asia to Mexico before the Conquest, which in some way is demonstrated by its Americanized name?") (tomo 1, pp. 200-02). Folk practices relating to marijuana, attributed to the Indians around San Juan del Río, Querétaro, are described by José María Villa, a friend and correspondent of the Mexican author and politician Guillermo Prieto, through quotes in Prieto's Viajes de orden suprema (México, 1857), an account of travels around Mexico (pp. 428-29). (A paraphrase of this passage in "Wild Tribes of Mexico," a chapter of Hubert Howe Bancroft's The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America, vol. 1 [New York, 1874/75], p. 633, contains probably the first incidence of mariguana in English.) The word was also familiar to the Norwegian traveler Carl Lumholtz, who visited Mexico in the 1890's and noted it in his book Unknown Mexico (vol. 2, New York: 1902): "A form of common hemp called mariguana or rosa maria (Cannabis sativa) sometimes takes the place of hikuli [a Huichol name for the peyote cactus]. The leaves of this injurious narcotic are smoked throughout Mexico, but mostly by criminals and the depraved" (p. 125). Note that the form marijuana is not recorded in Spanish before its use in English in the early twentieth century, so that the hypothesis that the origin of all the forms is a contraction of the compound name María Juana is not supported—in the first 60-70 years of the word's presence in print in Spanish the only attested spellings are mariguana and marihuana. For this observation and other theories about the word, see Isaac Campos, Home Grown: Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico's War on Drugs (University of North Carolina Press, 2012), pp. 67-77.

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The first known use of marijuana was in 1874

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marigraph

marijuana

Marikina

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Marijuana.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marijuana. Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for marijuana

marijuana

noun

English Language Learners Definition of marijuana

: the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant that are smoked as a drug

marijuana

noun
mar·​i·​jua·​na | \ ˌmer-ə-ˈwä-nə How to pronounce marijuana (audio) \

Kids Definition of marijuana

: dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant smoked as a drug

marijuana

noun
mar·​i·​jua·​na
variants: also marihuana \ ˌmar-​ə-​ˈwän-​ə also -​ˈhwän-​ \

Medical Definition of marijuana

1 : the psychoactive dried resinous flower buds and leaves of the female hemp or cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa or C. indica) that contain high levels of THC and are smoked, vaped, or ingested (as in baked goods) especially for their intoxicating effect : cannabis

Note: Several substances (as cannabidiol) lacking psychoactive properties are extracted from the flower buds of marijuana and are used medicinally.

— compare bhang, hashish — see also medical marijuana

More from Merriam-Webster on marijuana

Nglish: Translation of marijuana for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of marijuana for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about marijuana

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