- any of a class of substances that blunt the senses, as opium, morphine, belladonna, and alcohol, that in large quantities produce euphoria, stupor, or coma, that when used constantly can cause habituation or addiction, and that are used in medicine to relieve pain, cause sedation, and induce sleep.
- anything that exercises a soothing or numbing effect or influence: Television is a narcotic for many people.
Origin of narcotic
- any of a group of drugs, such as heroin, morphine, and pethidine, that produce numbness and stupor. They are used medicinally to relieve pain but are sometimes also taken for their pleasant effects; prolonged use may cause addiction
- anything that relieves pain or induces sleep, mental numbness, etc
- any illegal drug
- of, relating to, or designating narcotics
- of or relating to narcotics addicts or users
- of or relating to narcosis
Word Origin for narcotic
Word Origin and History for non-narcotic
late 14c., from Old French narcotique (early 14c.), noun use of adjective, and directly from Medieval Latin narcoticum, from Greek narkotikon, neuter of narkotikos "making stiff or numb," from narkotos, verbal adjective of narcoun "to benumb, make unconscious," from narke "numbness, deadness, stupor, cramp" (also "the electric ray"), perhaps from PIE root *(s)nerq- "to turn, twist." Sense of "any illegal drug" first recorded 1926, American English. Related: Narcotics.
c.1600, from Middle French narcotique (14c.) or German narkotisch and directly from Medieval Latin narcoticus, from Greek narkotikos (see narcotic (n.)). Related: Narcotical (1580s).
- A drug derived from opium or opiumlike compounds, with potent analgesic effects associated with significant alteration of mood and behavior, and with the potential for dependence and tolerance following repeated administration.
- Capable of inducing a state of stuporous analgesia.
- Any of a group of highly addictive analgesic drugs derived from opium or opiumlike compounds. Narcotics can cause drowsiness and significant alterations of mood and behavior.