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od

[ od, ohd ]
/ ɒd, oʊd /
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noun
a hypothetical force formerly held to pervade all nature and to manifest itself in magnetism, mesmerism, chemical action, etc.
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Also odyl, odyle .

Origin of od

First recorded in 1840–50; arbitrary name coined by Karl von Reichenbach (1788–1869), German scientist

Other definitions for od (2 of 9)

od

abbreviation
on demand.
outside diameter.
outside dimensions.

Other definitions for od (3 of 9)

Od

or 'Od, Odd

[ od ]
/ ɒd /

interjection Archaic.
a shortened form of “God” (used in euphemistically altered oaths).

Origin of Od

First recorded in 1590–1600

Other definitions for od (4 of 9)

OD
[ oh-dee ]
/ ˈoʊˈdi /

noun, plural ODs or OD's.
an overdose of a drug, especially a fatal one.
a person who has taken an overdose of a drug, especially one who has become seriously ill or has died from such an overdose.
verb (used without object), OD'd or ODed or OD'ed, OD'ing or OD·ing.
to take an overdose of a drug.
to die from an an overdose of a drug.
to have or experience an excessive amount or degree of something.

Origin of OD

First recorded in 1955–60

Other definitions for od (5 of 9)

OD

abbreviation
Old Dutch. Also OD., O.D.
Ordnance Department.
outside diameter.

Other definitions for od (6 of 9)

o.d.1

abbreviation
(in prescriptions) the right eye.

Origin of o.d.

1
From Latin oculus dexter

Other definitions for od (7 of 9)

o.d.2

abbreviation
olive drab.
on demand.
outside diameter.

Other definitions for od (8 of 9)

O.D.1

abbreviation
(in prescriptions) the right eye.

Origin of O.D.

1
From Latin oculus dexter

Other definitions for od (9 of 9)

O.D.2

abbreviation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

ABOUT THIS WORD

What else does OD mean?

OD is short for overdose, or taking so much of a drug that it harms or kills you.

How is OD pronounced?

[ oh-dee ]

What are other forms of OD?

O.D.

Where does OD come from?

Overdose combines over, as in “excessive,” and dose, a quantity of a medication or drug. The word dates back to the early 1700s.

The shortened form, OD, is dated to the late 1950s. Like overdose, OD can be a noun and verb. The term may have been popularized by 1960s culture, including everything from hippies to the TV show Dragnet.

Drug ODs are usually spoken of in reference to hard, illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine or prescription painkillers such as OxyContin. They cause the body to shut down, often fatally, though antidotes such as naloxone can help in the case of opiates. Note, though, that one can also OD on everyday medications to various degrees of side effects.

Fast forward to the 1990–2000s, whose culture further spread the term. This includes its use in popular culture like the TV medical drama ER and the reality show Cops as well as, more seriously, the U.S. opioid epidemic, involving far too many real-life ODs.

A number of celebrities have died of ODs in recent decades, from River Phoenix in 1993 to Heath Ledger in 2008 to Prince in 2016. These, tragically, have raised the profile of OD in the popular lexicon.

How is OD used in real life?

OD can be used as a noun (He died of an OD) or a verb (He OD’d on heroin).

It is used by health professionals, law enforcement, and public workers in various situations handling actual overdoses or policy around addiction.

It is also used in everyday speech and writing by the average person discussing or dealing with drug use and abuse.

Less seriously, OD has become a metaphor for too much of anything. This may have inspired the slang ode, meaning “very” or “intensely.”

 

More examples of OD:

“‘Survivor’ winner bit officer after being revived with OD drug: cops”

—Associated Press (headline), February 2018

How to use od in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for od (1 of 4)

od

odyl or odyle (ˈɒdɪl)

/ (ɒd, əʊd) /

noun
archaic a hypothetical force formerly thought to be responsible for many natural phenomena, such as magnetism, light, and hypnotism

Derived forms of od

odic, adjective

Word Origin for od

C19: coined arbitrarily by Baron Karl von Reichenbach (1788–1869), German scientist

British Dictionary definitions for od (2 of 4)

Od

'Od or Odd

/ (ɒd) /

noun
euphemistic (used in mild oaths) an archaic word for God

British Dictionary definitions for od (3 of 4)

OD1
/ (ˌəʊˈdiː) informal /

noun
an overdose of a drug
verb OD's, OD'ing or OD'd
(intr) to take an overdose of a drug

Word Origin for OD

C20: from o (ver) d (ose)

British Dictionary definitions for od (4 of 4)

OD2

abbreviation for
Officer of the Day
Old Dutch
ordnance datum
outside diameter
Also: o.d. military olive drab
Also: O/D banking
  1. on demand
  2. overdraft
  3. overdrawn
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

Medical definitions for od

OD

abbr.
Doctor of Optometry
oculus dexter (right eye)
overdose
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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