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[mawr-feen] /ˈmɔr fin/
noun, Pharmacology.
a white, bitter, crystalline alkaloid, C 1 7 H 1 9 NO 3 ⋅H 2 O, the most important narcotic and addictive principle of opium, obtained by extraction and crystallization and used chiefly in medicine as a pain reliever and sedative.
Also, morphia
[mawr-fee-uh] /ˈmɔr fi ə/ (Show IPA)
Origin of morphine
From the German word Morphin, dating back to 1820-30. See Morpheus, -ine2
Related forms
[mawr-fin-ik] /mɔrˈfɪn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for morphia
Historical Examples
  • At the same end of the case were the receptacles also of the atropin and the morphia.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • Well, if you're thinking of morphia for her, don't have anything to do with it.

    Joy (First Series Plays) John Galsworthy
  • The composing influence of the morphia had not yet left her.

    Victor's Triumph Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • You must give me a double dose of morphia to-night, darling.

  • Already I spend 500 francs a year on morphia, I must really retrench.

  • It is a modified kind of 'twilight sleep'—hyocine and morphia.

    The Man Who Knew Edgar Wallace
  • "morphia, that was the beginning and the middle and the end of my misfortunes," she said.

    The Lowest Rung

    Mary Cholmondeley
  • She listened to his cries all night, for the morphia brought him no relief.

    The Backwash of War Ellen N. La Motte
  • Which shows that morphia, good as it is, is not as good as death.

    The Backwash of War Ellen N. La Motte
  • Beyond lay Alphonse, drugged with morphia, after an intolerable day.

    The Backwash of War Ellen N. La Motte
British Dictionary definitions for morphia


an alkaloid extracted from opium: used in medicine as an analgesic and sedative, although repeated use causes addiction. Formula: C17H19NO3
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Morpheus
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 morphia



chief alkaloid of opium, 1828, from French morphine or German Morphin (1816), name coined by German apothecary Friedrich Sertürner (1783-1840) in reference to Latin Morpheus, Ovid's name for the god of dreams, from Greek morphe "form, shape, beauty, outward appearance," perhaps from PIE *merph-, a possible Greek root meaning "form," of unknown origin. So called because of the drug's sleep-inducing properties.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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morphia in Medicine

morphia mor·phi·a (môr'fē-ə)
See morphine.

morphine mor·phine (môr'fēn')
A bitter crystalline alkaloid extracted from opium, the soluble salts of which are used in medicine as an analgesic, a light anesthetic, or a sedative. Also called morphia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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morphia in Science
A highly addictive drug derived from opium and used to treat intractable pain, as in severe injury or metastatic cancer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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morphia in Culture
morphine [(mawr-feen)]

An addictive drug derived from opium that is used as an analgesic and sedative.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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