Definitions

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

  • n. A tincture of opium, formerly used as a drug.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tincture of opium, once widely used for various medical purposes and as a recreational drug.
  • v. To add laudanum to (a drink or the like).
  • v. To cause (a person) to be high on laudanum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Tincture of opium, used for various medical purposes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as ladanum.
  • n. Tincture of opium. See opium.

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

  • n. narcotic consisting of an alcohol solution of opium or any preparation in which opium is the main ingredient

Etymologies

New Latin, perhaps alteration of Medieval Latin labdanum, labdanum; see labdanum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined by Paracelsus for a tincture he made containing opium, from New Latin, from Latin laudare ("to praise"), or ladanum ("a gum resin"), from Ancient Greek λάδανον (ladanon). Originally the same word as ladanum, ladbdanum, compare French laudanum, Italian laudano, ladano. See ladanum. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "To be sure I did, to calm down the pain; and that was what I call laudanum and Mr Briscoe here calls opium."

    Old Gold The Cruise of the "Jason" Brig

  • Paracelsus created the narcotic opium, which he called laudanum, for his patients.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • 'Is not it shocking to think,' continued she, after she had swallowed it, 'that in laudanum alone I find the means of supporting existence?'

    Belinda

  • Meanwhile, the tansy powder would do Clifford no harm, and the laudanum was a proper treatment for this acute period.

    City of Glory

  • Perhaps this wet cloth in the original, is what we now call laudanum; a potion that overspreads the faculties, as the wet cloth did the face of the royal patient; and the translator knew not how to render it.

    Clarissa Harlowe

  • A tin of Blue Pills, so labeled, and a bottle, not labeled, but recognizable, of black draught-laudanum, that is.

    A Breath of Snow and Ashes

  • And one of the things she did to help herself during this period was to take laudanum, which is a kind of opium derivative.

    John Stuart Mill: A Biography

  • As to the tincture of opium (commonly called laudanum) THAT might certainly intoxicate if a man could bear to take enough of it; but why?

    Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

  • The true gum opium, and laudanum, which is its tincture, are derived from Eastern

    Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure

  • When my friend came out of his dark room and bandages at the end of a month he had consumed twenty ounces of this preparation, whose probable distinction from the tincture known as laudanum I point out below in the note.

    The Opium Habit

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • This was used on Blakeney when his arm was amputated.

    June 16, 2012

  • "Paracelsus, born Phillippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493–1541) in Salzburg, Austria, a 16th century Swiss-German alchemist, discovered that the alkaloids in opium are far more soluble in alcohol than water. Having experimented with various opium concoctions, Paracelsus came across a specific tincture of opium that was of considerable use in reducing pain. He called this preparation laudanum, derived from the Latin verb laudare, to praise. Initially, the term 'laudanum' referred to any combination of opium and alcohol. Indeed, Paracelsus' laudanum was strikingly different from the standard laudanum of the 17th century and beyond. His preparation contained opium, crushed pearls, musk, amber, and other substances. One researcher has documented that 'Laudanum, as listed in the London Pharmacoepoeia (1618), was a pill made from opium, saffron, castor, ambergris, musk and nutmeg.'"

    --Wikipedia

    September 13, 2010

  • ...Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
    For some California grass.
    Get back, get back.
    Get back to where you once belonged...

    June 12, 2007

  • Medicating in the sun
    Pinched doses of laudanum
    Longing for the old fecundity of my homeland

    June 12, 2007

  • Laudanum is opium and was once used as a pain reliever before people realized it was addictive. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was taking this when he went into a reverie and wrote "Kubla Kahn", one of the great poems of the late 17th century.

    June 11, 2007

  • Poe's nepenthe and poison hemlock.

    December 15, 2006