- 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.
- 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.
verb (used with object), drugged, drug·ging.
Origin of drug1
verb drugs, drugging or drugged (tr)
Word Origin 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.
drug on the market
A commodity whose supply greatly exceeds the demand for it. For example, Now that asbestos is considered dangerous, asbestos tile is a drug on the market. The use of the noun drug in the sense of “something overabundant” (as opposed to a medicine or narcotic) dates from the mid-1600s, but the first record of the full expression, put as drug in the market, dates only from the 1830s.