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opium

[oh-pee-uh m]
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noun
  1. the dried, condensed juice of a poppy, Papaver somniferum, that has a narcotic, soporific, analgesic, and astringent effect and contains morphine, codeine, papaverine, and other alkaloids used in medicine in their isolated or derived forms: a narcotic substance, poisonous in large doses.
  2. anything that causes dullness or inaction or that soothes the mind or emotions.
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Origin of opium

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek ópion poppy juice, equivalent to op(ós) sap, juice + -ion diminutive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for opium

heroin, opiate, drug, poppy, morphine, dope, hypnotic, soporific, tar, codeine, papaverine

Examples from the Web for opium

Contemporary Examples of opium

Historical Examples of opium

  • The Opium trade, perhaps beneficially, brought matters to a crisis.

  • The effect was like that of opium, and gave the user visions.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • The purchaser then brought, or sent, an order on board the ship, for the delivery of the opium.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • For every box of opium sold, the mate got a china dollar as a perquisite.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The opium that I had taken in my potion made my head rather heavy.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt


British Dictionary definitions for opium

opium

noun
  1. the dried juice extracted from the unripe seed capsules of the opium poppy that contains alkaloids such as morphine and codeine: used in medicine as an analgesic
  2. something having a tranquillizing or stupefying effect
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Word Origin for opium

C14: from Latin: poppy juice, from Greek opion, diminutive of opos juice of a plant
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 opium

n.

late 14c., from Latin opium, from Greek opion "poppy juice, poppy," diminutive of opos "vegetable juice."

Die Religion ist der Seufzer der bedrängten Kreatur, das Gemüth einer herzlosen Welt, wie sie der Geist geistloser Zustände ist. Sie ist das Opium des Volks. [Karl Marx, "Zur Kritik der Hegel'schen Rechts-Philosophie," in "Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher," February, 1844]

The British Opium War against China lasted from 1839-42; the name is attested from 1841.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

opium in Medicine

opium

pē-əm)
n.
  1. A bitter, yellowish-brown, strongly addictive narcotic drug prepared from the dried juice of unripe pods of the opium poppy and containing alkaloids such as morphine, codeine, and papaverine.meconium
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

opium in Science

opium

pē-əm]
  1. A highly addictive, yellowish-brown drug obtained from the pods of a variety of poppy, from which other drugs, such as morphine, are prepared.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

opium in Culture

opium

A highly addictive drug obtained from the poppy plant. Several other drugs, such as morphine and codeine, are derived from opium.

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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.