Share this entry

Share this page

heroin

Line breaks: her¦oin
Pronunciation: /ˈhɛrəʊɪn
 
/

Definition of heroin in English:

noun

[mass noun]
A highly addictive analgesic drug derived from morphine, often used illicitly as a narcotic producing euphoria.
Example sentences
  • Any person trying heroin or any addictive drug for the first time knows that it can hook you.
  • Caffeine is addictive and hooks you in the same way as amphetamines, cocaine and heroin.
  • Yes, the use of heroin and harder drugs has also risen steadily there over a similar period.

Origin

late 19th century: from German Heroin, from Latin heros 'hero' (because of its effects on the user's self-esteem).

More
  • The similarity in spelling between heroin and hero (Middle English) is not accidental. The name of the drug is a German word formed in the late 1890s from Latin heros ‘hero’, in reference to its effects, for the feelings of euphoria it can produce meant that in early tests users reported that they felt ‘heroic’. Hero itself in an early Greek word.

Words that rhyme with heroin

heroine

Definition of heroin in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure