Definition of opium in English:

opium

Syllabification: o·pi·um
Pronunciation: /ˈōpēəm
 
/

noun

  • A reddish-brown heavy-scented addictive drug prepared from the juice of the opium poppy, used as a narcotic and in medicine as an analgesic.
    More example sentences
    • Surgeons would attempt to stupefy the patient with alcohol, opium, or morphia, but with little effect.
    • Both are controlled drugs, and staff handed the morphine and opium over to the Home Office Drugs Inspectorate.
    • These suggestions were based on evidence that showed that opium was addictive.

Phrases

the opium of the people (or masses)

see the opiate of the masses at opiate.
More example sentences
  • In a way, the lottery has become, as Mr Marx would have said, ‘the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of heartless conditions, the opium of the people.’
  • Some papers are now part of the showbiz industry and for many, celebrity rather than religion is now the opium of the people.
  • It's almost like the opium of the people that Karl Marx was talking about a century ago.

Origin

late Middle English: via Latin from Greek opion 'poppy juice', from opos 'juice', from an Indo-European root meaning 'water'.

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noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody