Definition of “drug” - English Dictionary

“drug” in British English

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drugnoun [ C ]

uk /drʌɡ/ us /drʌɡ/

drug noun [ C ] (MEDICINE)

B2 any natural or artificially made chemical that is used as a medicine:

anti-cancer/fertility/pain-killing drugs
a prescription drug
drug therapy
He takes several drugs for his condition.

More examples

  • The new drug could be an important step in the fight against cancer.
  • There are doubts about the effectiveness of the new drug in treating the disease.
  • For patients who do not respond to drug treatment, surgery is a possible option.
  • The doctors gave him more powerful drugs in the vain hope that he might recover.
  • I can give you stronger pain-killing drugs if these aren't strong enough.

drug noun [ C ] (ILLEGAL SUBSTANCE)

B2 any natural or artificially made chemical that is taken for pleasure, to improve someone's performance of an activity, or because a person cannot stop using it:

illegal drugs
a drug addict
She began to suspect that her son was on/taking/doing drugs.
She was suspected of being a drug dealer.
His son died of a drug overdose.

any activity that you cannot stop doing:

Work is a drug for him.

More examples

  • The government are to step up their attempt to wage war on drugs.
  • "I'm arresting you on suspicion of illegally possessing drugs, " said the police officer.
  • The athlete was given a stiff punishment for using drugs.
  • Police found a small quantity of drugs in his possession.
  • Desperate measures are needed to deal with the growing drug problem.

drugverb [ T ]

uk /drʌɡ/ us /drʌɡ/ -gg-

to give a person or animal a chemical that causes him, her, or it to lose feeling or become unconscious:

The killer confessed that he often drugged his victims before he killed them.
She was heavily drugged to ease the pain.
UK informal We visited her in hospital but she was drugged to the eyeballs (= had been given a lot of drugs) and I don't think she even knew we were there.

(Definition of “drug” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“drug” in American English

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drugnoun

us /drʌɡ/

drug noun (MEDICINE)

[ C ] any chemical that is used as a medicine:

drug noun (ILLEGAL SUBSTANCE)

[ C/U ] a chemical or other substance that is illegally used, sometimes to improve performance in an activity or because a person cannot stop using it

drugverb [ T ]

us /drʌɡ/ -gg-

drug verb [ T ] (GIVE MEDICINE)

to give a person or animal a chemical that causes a loss of feeling or the condition of being unconscious:

He couldn’t talk to us because he had been drugged.

(Definition of “drug” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“drug” in Business English

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drugnoun [ C ]

uk /drʌɡ/ us

a natural or artificially made substance that is used as a medicine:

an anti-cancer drug
The state is grappling for ways to curb rising drug costs in its $1 billion Medicaid drug budget.

a natural or artificially made substance, especially one that is illegal, which is taken for pleasure, to improve performance in an activity, or because someone is addicted (= cannot stop taking it):

take/abuse drugs He admitted abusing drugs and alcohol his entire adult life before ending up in jail.

(Definition of “drug” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)