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[druhg] /drʌg/
Pharmacology. a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being.
  1. any substance recognized in the official pharmacopoeia or formulary of the nation.
  2. any substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in humans or other animals.
  3. any article, other than food, intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of humans or other animals.
  4. any substance intended for use as a component of such a drug, but not a device or a part of a device.
a habit-forming medicinal or illicit substance, especially a narcotic.
  1. chemical substances prepared and sold as pharmaceutical items, either by prescription or over the counter.
  2. personal hygienic items sold in a drugstore, as toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.
Obsolete. any ingredient used in chemistry, pharmacy, dyeing, or the like.
verb (used with object), drugged, drugging.
to administer a medicinal drug to.
to stupefy or poison with a drug.
to mix (food or drink) with a drug, especially a stupefying, narcotic, or poisonous drug.
to administer anything nauseous to.
Verb phrases
drug up, to take a narcotic drug:
The addict prowled about for a place to drug up.
drug on the market, a commodity that is overabundant or in excess of demand in the market.
Also, drug in the market.
Origin of drug1
1300-50; Middle English drogges (plural) < Middle French drogue, of obscure origin


[druhg] /drʌg/
verb, Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. Nonstandard.
a simple past tense and past participle of drag.


[droo g] /drʊg/
noun, Zoroastrianism.
the cosmic principle of disorder and falsehood.
Compare Asha.
From the Avestan word drauga Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for drug


any synthetic, semisynthetic, or natural chemical substance used in the treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of disease, or for other medical reasons related adjective pharmaceutical
a chemical substance, esp a narcotic, taken for the pleasant effects it produces
drug on the market, a commodity available in excess of the demands of the market
verb (transitive) drugs, drugging, drugged
to mix a drug with (food, drink, etc)
to administer a drug to
to stupefy or poison with or as if with a drug
prefix pharmaco-
Derived Forms
druggy, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French drogue, probably of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for drug

late 14c. (early 14c. in Anglo-French), "medicine, chemical ingredients," from Old French droge "supply, stock, provision" (14c.), of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German droge-vate "dry barrels," or droge waere, literally "dry wares," but specifically drugs and spices, with first element mistaken as word for the contents (see dry goods), or because medicines mostly consisted of dried herbs.

Cf. Latin species, in Late Latin "wares," then specialized to "spices" (French épice, English spice). The same source produced Italian and Spanish droga, Swedish drog.

Application to "narcotics and opiates" is late 19c., though association with "poisons" is 1500s. Druggie first recorded 1968. To be a drug on or in the market (mid-17c.) is of doubtful connection and may be a different word, perhaps a play on drag, which was sometimes drug c.1240-1800.


c.1600, from drug (n.). Related: drugged; drugging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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drug in Medicine

drug (drŭg)

  1. A substance used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or as a component of a medication.

  2. Such a substance as recognized or defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  3. A chemical substance, such as a narcotic or hallucinogen, that affects the central nervous system, causing changes in behavior and often addiction.

v. drugged, drug·ging, drugs
  1. To administer a drug, especially in an overly large quantity, to an individual.

  2. To stupefy or dull with or as if with a drug; to narcotize.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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drug in Science
  1. A chemical substance, especially one prescribed by a medical provider, that is used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a condition or disease. Drugs are prescribed for a limited amount of time, as for an acute infection, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders, such as hypertension.

  2. A chemical substance such as a narcotic or a hallucinogen that affects the central nervous system and is used recreationally for perceived desirable effects on personality, perception, or behavior. Many recreational drugs are used illicitly and can be addictive.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for drug

drug 1


To annoy and nag at; bug: His constant bitching really drugs me (1970s+)

Related Terms

designer drug, hard drug, love drug, orphan drug, soft drug

drug 2


Displeased; angry; pissed off: If other players are drug about it or feel that I'm trying to horn in, then it's not much fun

[1940+ Jazz musicians; past participle of drag, in a dialect variation]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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