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 Same as drogue.
  • noun A drudge.
  • 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).
  • 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.

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

  • 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
  • noun A drudge (?).
  • intransitive verb obsolete To drudge; to toil laboriously.
  • 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 To prescribe or administer drugs or medicines.

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

  • 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.
  • verb Southern US Simple past tense and past participle of drag.

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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  • 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