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
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.