- 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.
- anything that causes dullness or inaction or that soothes the mind or emotions.
- 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
- something having a tranquillizing or stupefying effect
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. n.
- 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
- A highly addictive, yellowish-brown drug obtained from the pods of a variety of poppy, from which other drugs, such as morphine, are prepared.
A highly addictive drug obtained from the poppy plant. Several other drugs, such as morphine and codeine, are derived from opium.