[ druhg ]
See synonyms for drug on Thesaurus.com
  1. Pharmacology. a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being.

  2. (in federal law)

    • any substance recognized in the official pharmacopoeia or formulary of the nation.

    • any substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in humans or other animals.

    • any article, other than food, intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of humans or other animals.

    • any substance intended for use as a component of such a drug, but not a device or a part of a device.

  1. a habit-forming medicinal or illicit substance, especially a narcotic.

  2. drugs,

    • chemical substances prepared and sold as pharmaceutical items, either by prescription or over the counter.

    • personal hygienic items sold in a drugstore, as toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.

  3. Obsolete. any ingredient used in chemistry, pharmacy, dyeing, or the like.

verb (used with object),drugged, drug·ging.
  1. to administer a medicinal drug to.

  2. to stupefy or poison with a drug.

  1. to mix (food or drink) with a drug, especially a stupefying, narcotic, or poisonous drug.

  2. to administer anything nauseous to.

Verb Phrases
  1. drug up, Informal. to take a drug, especially an illegal drug: kids hiding under the school bleachers to drug up;athletes who drug up in the off-season.

Idioms about drug

  1. drug on the market, a commodity that is overabundant or in excess of demand in the market.: Also drug in the market.

Origin of drug

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English drogges (plural), from Middle French drogue, of obscure origin

Words Nearby drug

Other definitions for drug (2 of 3)

[ druhg ]

verbNonstandard: Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S.
  1. a simple past tense and past participle of drag.

Other definitions for Drug (3 of 3)

[ droog ]

  1. the cosmic principle of disorder and falsehood.

Origin of Drug

From the Avestan word drauga

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use drug in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for drug


/ (drʌɡ) /

  1. any synthetic, semisynthetic, or natural chemical substance used in the treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of disease, or for other medical reasons: Related adjective: pharmaceutical

  2. a chemical substance, esp a narcotic, taken for the pleasant effects it produces

  1. drug on the market a commodity available in excess of the demands of the market

verbdrugs, drugging or drugged (tr)
  1. to mix a drug with (food, drink, etc)

  2. to administer a drug to

  1. to stupefy or poison with or as if with a drug

Origin of drug

C14: from Old French drogue, probably of Germanic origin

Other words from drug

  • Related prefix: pharmaco-

Derived forms of drug

  • druggy, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for drug


[ drŭg ]

  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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.