Definition of opium in English:

opium

Line breaks: opium
Pronunciation: /ˈəʊpɪəm
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
A reddish-brown heavy-scented addictive drug prepared from the juice of the opium poppy, used illicitly as a narcotic and occasionally in medicine as an analgesic: he was addicted to opium
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.

Origin

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

Phrases

the opium of the people (or masses)

Something regarded as inducing a false and unrealistic sense of contentment among people.
[translating the German phrase Opium des Volks, used by Marx in reference to religion (1844)]
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.

Definition of opium in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day meretricious
Pronunciation: merəˈtriSHəs
adjective
apparently attractive but having in reality no value...