a. A substance used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or as a component of a medication.
b. Such a substance as recognized or defined by the US Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
2. A chemical substance, such as a narcotic or hallucinogen, that affects the central nervous system, causing changes in behavior and often addiction.
3. Obsolete A chemical or dye.
tr.v. drugged, drug·ging, drugs
a. To administer a drug to, especially to treat pain or induce anesthesia.
b. To give a drug to, especially surreptitiously, in order to induce stupor.
2. To poison or mix (food or drink) with a drug.
[Middle English drogge, from Old French drogue, drug, perhaps from Middle Dutch droge (vate), dry (cases), pl. of drog, dry.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.