Definition: Opium

From New World Encyclopedia


Borrowed from Latin opium and Ancient Greek ὄπιον or ópion, from ὀπός or opós (juice of a plant), from Proto-Indo-European *sokʷos (juice, resin).


opium (countable and uncountable, plural opiums or opia)

  1. (uncountable) A yellow-brown, addictive narcotic drug obtained from the dried juice of unripe pods of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, and containing alkaloids such as morphine, codeine, and papaverine.
  2. (by extension, countable) Anything that numbs or stupefies.

Derived terms

  • lettuce opium
  • opium alkaloid
  • opium poppy
  • Opium Wars


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