Definitions

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

  • noun A potent synthetic narcotic drug, C21H27NO, that is less addictive than morphine or heroin and is used as a substitute for these drugs in addiction treatment programs. It may also be used for chronic pain management.

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

  • noun chemistry A synthetic opioid analgesic, used to wean addicts off of heroin or other opiate based narcotics, and in chronic pain management.

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

  • noun synthetic narcotic drug similar to morphine but less habit-forming; used in narcotic detoxification and maintenance of heroin addiction

Etymologies

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

[Short for methadone hydrochloride : (di)meth(yl) + a(mino) + d(iphenyl) + (heptan)one, a ketone (heptan(e) + –one).]

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