Definition of drug in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /drʌɡ/


1A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body: a new drug aimed at sufferers from Parkinson’s disease
More example sentences
  • The retailing of antibiotics, anti-virus drugs and herbal medicines capable of reducing heat skyrocketed.
  • Lower doses of the drug result in analgesic effects, while increasing doses will produce amnesic effects.
  • Antidepressant and sedative drugs gave troublesome side effects and only temporary relief.
medicine, medical drug, medication, medicament;
remedy, cure, antidote;
cure-all, panacea;
potion, elixir
informal magic bullet
archaic physic
1.1A substance taken for its narcotic or stimulant effects, often illegally: a cocaine-based drug figurative mass adoration is a highly addictive drug
More example sentences
  • The use of illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin has increased exponentially, most dramatically among the young.
  • It is grown to produce the narcotic drugs hashish and marijuana, made primarily from its female flowers.
  • Crack cocaine is a potent hard crystalline form of cocaine, the addictive drug derived from the coca plant and used as a stimulant.
narcotic, stimulant, hallucinogen, addictive drug, recreational drug, illegal drug, substance
informal dope, junk, gear, stuff, downer, upper
vulgar slang shit

verb (drugs, drugging, drugged)

[with object]
1Administer a drug to (someone) in order to induce stupor or insensibility: they were drugged to keep them quiet
More example sentences
  • Would this be the same doctor that keeps drugging me?
  • She was obviously drugged still from the poison.
  • Perhaps the best acting (or overacting as the case may be) came from Henry Silva, who played a truly evil villain, one who enjoys his torture and drugging people.
anaesthetize, give an anaesthetic to, narcotize, give drugs to, give narcotics to, give opiates to, poison;
knock out, make/render unconscious, make/render insensible, stupefy, befuddle
informal dope
add drugs to, tamper with, adulterate, contaminate, poison
informal dope, spike, lace, slip a Mickey Finn into, doctor
stupefied, insensible, befuddled;
delirious, hallucinating, narcotized;
informal stoned, high, doped, dopey, on a trip, tripping, spaced out, zonked, wasted, wrecked, high as a kite, off one's head, out of one's mind, flying, turned on, hyped up, freaked out, charged up
British informal loved-up
North American informal blitzed
1.1Add a drug to (food or drink).
Example sentences
  • He is accused of killing more than 20 young Western backpackers across Asia, usually by drugging their food or drink, in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Stephanie drugs Ellie's drink and leaves her vulnerable with a group of men
  • Repeatedly drugging his food and disregarding any positive assertion from his new ‘neighbour,’ Shawn meets his demise when his gun prevents Victor even from committing suicide.
1.2 [no object] informal Take illegally obtained drugs: she was convinced he was out drinking and drugging
More example sentences
  • The action opens with Vince drinking and drugging his way through an evening in a drab Michigan motel room.
  • She was convinced he was out drinking and drugging it up, trying to lure her son into a life of crime.



do drugs

informal Take illegal drugs: people who don’t drink or smoke or do drugs
More example sentences
  • Those convicted will have to demonstrate their commitment not to do drugs, but no drug testing will be involved.
  • I love my mum and my family and I don't think I really did when I was doing drugs.
  • At the start I was just doing drugs at the weekend, but then I moved on to smoking cannabis at school.

on drugs

Taking medically prescribed drugs: on drugs for high blood pressure
2.1Under the influence of or habitually taking illegal drugs: all the criminals were on drugs
More example sentences
  • All meetings about children who may be on drugs should have a drug worker present.
  • I have a low opinion of myself, I'm angry at life and I'm somebody I don't want to be when I'm on drugs.
  • How do you know he wasn't on drugs?


Middle English: from Old French drogue, possibly from Middle Dutch droge vate, literally 'dry vats', referring to the contents (i.e. dry goods).

Words that rhyme with drug

bug, chug, Doug, dug, fug, glug, hug, jug, lug, mug, plug, pug, rug, shrug, slug, smug, snug, thug, trug, tug

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: drug

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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