Definition of opiate in English:


Syllabification: o·pi·ate


Pronunciation: /ˈōpē-it, -ˌāt
  • Relating to, resembling, or containing opium: the use of opiate drugs
    More example sentences
    • Anti-cancer drugs and radiotherapy commonly produce nausea and vomiting, as do other drugs active in the central nervous system, including opiate pain killers (morphine, heroin) and also alcohol.
    • The project, the first of its kind in the York area, aims to help addicts of heroin and other opiate drugs such as methadone.
    • By using opiate analgesics and sedatives to provide comfort to a dying patient, we risk depressing respirations and causing hypotension, which may hasten death.


Pronunciation: /ˈōpē-it, -ˌāt
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Pronunciation: /-ˌāt
[with object] (often as adjective opiated) Back to top  
  • Impregnate with opium.


the opiate of the masses (or people)

Something regarded as inducing a false and unrealistic sense of contentment among people.
[translating the German phrase Opium des Volks, used by Karl Marx in reference to religion (1844)]
More example sentences
  • Big government is not just the opiate of the masses.
  • The priest mentioned Marx's line about religion as the opiate of the masses.
  • Welfare is the opiate of the masses.


late Middle English (as a noun): from medieval Latin opiatus (adjective), opiatus (noun), based on Latin opium (see opium).

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