noun Pharmacology.

a white, bitter, crystalline alkaloid, C17H19NO3⋅H2O, 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 mor·phi·a [mawr-fee-uh] /ˈmɔr fi ə/.

Origin of morphine

From the German word Morphin, dating back to 1820–30. See Morpheus, -ine2
Related formsmor·phin·ic [mawr-fin-ik] /mɔrˈfɪn ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for morphia

Historical Examples of morphia

  • 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.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for morphia


morphia (ˈmɔːfɪə)


an alkaloid extracted from opium: used in medicine as an analgesic and sedative, although repeated use causes addiction. Formula: C 17 H 19 NO 3

Word Origin for morphine

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

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

morphia in Medicine








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.morphia
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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

morphia in Culture



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