from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A substance used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or as a component of a medication.
  • noun Such a substance as recognized or defined by the US Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
  • noun A chemical substance, such as a narcotic or hallucinogen, that affects the central nervous system, causing changes in behavior and often addiction.
  • noun Obsolete A chemical or dye.
  • transitive verb To administer a drug to, especially to treat pain or induce anesthesia.
  • transitive verb To give a drug to, especially surreptitiously, in order to induce stupor.
  • transitive verb To poison or mix (food or drink) with a drug.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A drudge.
  • To mix with drugs; narcotize or make poisonous, as a beverage, by mixture with a drug: as, to drug wine (in order to render the person who drinks it insensible).
  • To dose to excess with drugs or medicines.
  • To administer narcotics or poisons to; render insensible with or as with a narcotic or anesthetic drug; deaden: as, he was drugged and then robbed.
  • To surfeit; disgust.
  • To prescribe or administer drugs or medicines, especially to excess.
  • noun Any vegetable, animal, or mineral substance used in the composition or preparation of medicines; hence, also, any ingredient used in chemical preparations employed in the arts.
  • noun A thing which has lost its value, and is no longer wanted; specifically, a commodity that is not salable, especially from overproduction: as, a drug in the market (the phrase in which the word is generally used).
  • noun Same as drogue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To prescribe or administer drugs or medicines.
  • noun Any animal, vegetable, or mineral substance used in the composition of medicines.
  • noun Any commodity that lies on hand, or is not salable; an article of slow sale, or in no demand; -- used often in the phrase “a drug on the market”.
  • noun any stuff used in dyeing or in chemical operations.
  • noun any substance intended for use in the treatment, prevention, diagnosis, or cure of disease, especially one listed in the official pharmacopoeia published by a national authority.
  • noun any substance having psychological effects, such as a narcotic, stimulant, or hallucinogenic agent, especially habit-forming and addictive substances, sold or used illegally
  • transitive verb To affect or season with drugs or ingredients; esp., to stupefy by a narcotic drug. Also Fig.
  • transitive verb To tincture with something offensive or injurious.
  • transitive verb To dose to excess with, or as with, drugs.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To drudge; to toil laboriously.
  • noun A drudge (?).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Southern US Simple past tense and past participle of drag.
  • noun pharmacology A substance used to treat an illness, relieve a symptom, or modify a chemical process in the body for a specific purpose.
  • noun pharmacology A substance, sometimes addictive, which affects the central nervous system.
  • noun A chemical or substance, not necessarily for medical purposes, which alters the way the mind or body works.
  • noun A substance, especially one which is illegal, ingested for recreational use.
  • verb transitive To administer intoxicating drugs to, generally without the recipient's knowledge or consent.
  • verb transitive To add intoxicating drugs to with the intention of drugging someone.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb use recreational drugs
  • noun a substance that is used as a medicine or narcotic
  • verb administer a drug to


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English drogge, from Old French drogue, drug, perhaps from Middle Dutch droge (vate), dry (cases), pl. of drog, dry.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Germanic ablaut formation, cognate with Dutch droeg, German trug, Swedish drog, Old English drōg.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English drogge ("medicine"), from Middle French drogue ("cure, pharmaceutical product"), from Old French drogue, drocque ("tincture, pharmaceutical product"), from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German droge, as in droge vate ("dry vats, dry barrels"), mistaking droge for the contents, which were wontedly dried herbs, plants or wares. Droge comes from Middle Dutch drōghe ("dry"), from Old Saxon drōgi ("dry"), from Proto-Germanic *draugijaz (“dry”). Cognate with English dry, Dutch droog ("dry"), German trocken ("dry").


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  • Officials usually avoid even the term "drug cartels," and instead refer to them as "organized crime," perhaps more accurate now that much of the gangs' income comes from extortion and kidnapping. Front Page 2011

  • Officials usually avoid even the term "drug cartels," and instead refer to them as "organized crime," perhaps more accurate now that much of the gangs' income comes from extortion and kidnapping. Front Page 2011

  • The term drug-resistant TB, or DR-TB is used to describe those strains of TB which show resistance to one or more of the common first-line drugs.

    Doctors Without Borders 2009

  • The term drug that gets used in this debate is part of the problem because it is meaningless. Main RSS Feed 2009

  • The term drug discovery tools usually refers to high-content screening (HCS) and analysis and is composed of those applications that require sufficient levels of sample throughput, whereby complex cellular events and phenotypes can be studied.

    The Earth Times Online Newspaper 2009

  • Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison.

    Alcohol More Lethal Than Heroin Or Cocaine, Study Finds AP 2010

  • Many panel members said they wanted to see more safety data before voting to approve the drug rather than facing potential questions after the drug is approved.

    FDA Rejects Vivus's Obesity Drug Qnexa Jennifer Corbett Dooren 2010

  • If a drug is a bona fide public safety risk (like crystal meth) and some policy is demonstrated to reduce that risk then by all means.

    Don’t Do Mandatory Drug Sentences : Law is Cool 2009

  • If a drug is approved and fails disastrously the FDA is blamed.

    David K. Levine: Save the Whales! Abolish Patents! David K. Levine 2010

  • In the cases where mere possession of a drug (say marijuana) as opposed to dealing in a drug is a misdemeanour rather than a felony then things get yet more difficult.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » District Court Upholds Ban on Possessing Guns While an Illegal User of a Controlled Substance 2010

  • Hemp has commonly been used as a material for carpets and sweaters — it’s the main material of Baja hoodies, those textured pullovers dubbed “drug rugs” and typically associated with stoners.

    Hemp is now legal. That’s huge for the CBD industry. Chavie Lieber 2018


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  • Came across this list of Street Drug Slang: quite interesting!

    January 31, 2008

  • For some people, "drug" can be a past tense form of "drag". See this map for American usage.

    April 14, 2008

  • For example, "'Marriage is a leap in the dark', sez I, 'and I ain't going to be drug into it.'"

    -Cousin Ernestine Bugle in Anne of Windy Poplars

    June 1, 2009

  • Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2:

    "I have drugg'd their possets."

    September 2, 2009

  • Here in Nova Scotia, seamen and fishermen refer to a sea anchor towed behind a vessel as a "drug", from the local past tense of "drag".

    February 16, 2011

  • Citation on fetish.

    March 26, 2012

  • "This simple explanation for the popularity of spices doesn't work--it had nothing to do with the perishability of meat. A truer account involves the prestige and versatility of spices, their social and religious overtones, and their mysterious yet attractive origins. Versatility is especially significant because ... spices were not used just for cooking. They were regarded as drugs and as disease preventatives in a society so often visited by ghastly epidemics. Spices were considered not only cures but healthful in promoting the body's equilibrium. ... they were not only medicinal but luxurious and beautiful. Spices soothed and cheered, creating a refined environment of taste and comfort."

    Paul Freedman, Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 2008), 4-5.

    October 9, 2017