verb (used with object), drugged, drug·ging.

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 drug

1300–50; Middle English drogges (plural) < Middle French drogue, of obscure origin



verb Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. Nonstandard.

a simple past tense and past participle of drag.


[droo g]

noun Zoroastrianism.

the cosmic principle of disorder and falsehood.
Compare Asha.

Origin of Drug

From the Avestan word drauga
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for drugs

Contemporary Examples of drugs

Historical Examples of drugs

British Dictionary definitions for drugs



any synthetic, semisynthetic, or natural chemical substance used in the treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of disease, or for other medical reasonsRelated 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 drugs, drugging or drugged (tr)

to mix a drug with (food, drink, etc)
to administer a drug to
to stupefy or poison with or as if with a drug
Related formsRelated prefix: pharmaco-
Derived Formsdruggy, adjective

Word Origin for drug

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

Word Origin and History for drugs

"narcotics, opiates, etc.," 1883, from drug (n.).



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

drugs in Medicine




A substance used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or as a component of a medication.
Such a substance as recognized or defined by the US Food and Drug Administration.
A chemical substance, such as a narcotic or hallucinogen, that affects the central nervous system, causing changes in behavior and often addiction.


To administer a drug, especially in an overly large quantity, to an individual.
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.

drugs in Science



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.
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.