Definition of laudanum in English:

laudanum

Line breaks: laud|anum
Pronunciation: /ˈlɔːd(ə)nəm
 
, ˈlɒ-/

noun

[mass noun]
  • An alcoholic solution containing morphine, prepared from opium and formerly used as a narcotic painkiller.
    More example sentences
    • Doctors would give babies phenobarbital for colic and laudanum (a form of opium) for teething.
    • She took laudanum for this, as was the fashion, a habit that brought her to the attention of a fellow poet, the opium addict Coleridge.
    • Any painkillers containing opiates, such as laudanum, were out of the question until the concussion went away.

Origin

mid 16th century (applied to various preparations containing opium): modern Latin, the name given by Paracelsus to a costly medicament of which opium was believed to be the active ingredient; perhaps a variant of Latin ladanum (see ladanum).

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