gateway drug

[ geyt-wey druhg ]
/ ˈgeɪt weɪ ˌdrʌg /

noun

any drug, as a stimulant or tranquilizer, whose use may lead to the use of more dangerous or addictive drugs such as heroin.

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Origin of gateway drug

First recorded in 1985–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for gateway drug

gateway drug

noun

a recreational drug such as cannabis, the use of which is believed by some to encourage the user to try stronger drugs
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