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

  • n. An addictive drug, such as opium, that reduces pain, alters mood and behavior, and usually induces sleep or stupor. Natural and synthetic narcotics are used in medicine to control pain.
  • n. A soothing, numbing agent or thing: "There was the blessed narcotic of bridge, at the Colony or at the home of friends” ( Louis Auchincloss).
  • adj. Inducing sleep or stupor; causing narcosis.
  • adj. Of or relating to narcotics, their effects, or their use.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or intended for one addicted to a narcotic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any class of substances or drugs, that reduces pain, induces sleep and may alter mood or behaviour.
  • n. Any type of numbing drug.
  • n. Certain illegal drugs.
  • adj. Of, or relating to narcotics.
  • adj. Inducing sleep; causing narcosis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the properties of a narcotic; operating as a narcotic.
  • n. A drug which, in medicinal doses, generally allays morbid susceptibility, relieves pain, and produces sleep; but which, in poisonous doses, produces stupor, coma, or convulsions, and, when given in sufficient quantity, causes death. The best examples are opium (with morphine), belladonna (with atropine), and conium.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the power to produce stupor.
  • Consisting in or characterized by stupor: as, narcotic effects.
  • n. A substance which directly induces sleep, allaying sensibility and blunting the senses, and which, in large quantities, produces narcotism or complete insensibility.

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

  • adj. inducing mental lethargy
  • adj. of or relating to or designating narcotics
  • adj. inducing stupor or narcosis
  • n. a drug that produces numbness or stupor; often taken for pleasure or to reduce pain; extensive use can lead to addiction


Middle English narcotik, from Old French narcotique, from Medieval Latin narcōticum, from Greek narkōtikon, from neuter of narkōtikos, numbing, from narkōsis, a numbing; see narcosis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French narcotique, from Medieval Latin narcoticum, from Ancient Greek ναρκόω (narkóō, "Ι benumb"), from νάρκη (narkē, "numbness, torpor"). (Wiktionary)



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