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[mawr-feen] /ˈmɔr fin/
noun, Pharmacology
a white, bitter, crystalline alkaloid, C 1 7 H 1 9 NO 3 ⋅H 2 O, the most important narcotic and addictive principle of opium, obtained by extraction and crystallization and used chiefly in medicine as a pain reliever and sedative.
Also, morphia
[mawr-fee-uh] /ˈmɔr fi ə/ (Show IPA)
Origin of morphine
1820-30; < German Morphin. See Morpheus, -ine2
Related forms
[mawr-fin-ik] /mɔrˈfɪn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for morphine
  • Field surgery is performed with rudimentary equipment and morphine is scarce.
  • He must have calculated how much morphine he could inject without losing control of a scalpel.
  • Researchers find that humans produce their own morphine.
  • The bloodstream floods with endorphins-the closest thing to morphine that the body produces.
  • The pain lessens and sleep comes when doctors start the morphine.
  • morphine acts on a part of the brain known as the opioid system, which is linked to pain, pleasure and addictive behaviors.
  • So one day patients might get the keys to their morphine.
  • After a few minutes a pharmacist appeared, carrying packages of morphine.
  • Essentially, they propose a village level system turning opium poppies into medicinal morphine for the developing world.
  • The work further showed that the fewer receptors, the less responsive the animals were to morphine.
British Dictionary definitions for morphine


an alkaloid extracted from opium: used in medicine as an analgesic and sedative, although repeated use causes addiction. Formula: C17H19NO3
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Morpheus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for morphine

chief alkaloid of opium, 1828, from French morphine or German Morphin (1816), name coined by German apothecary Friedrich Sertürner (1783-1840) in reference to Latin Morpheus, Ovid's name for the god of dreams, from Greek morphe "form, shape, beauty, outward appearance," perhaps from PIE *merph-, a possible Greek root meaning "form," of unknown origin. So called because of the drug's sleep-inducing properties.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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morphine in Medicine

morphine mor·phine (môr'fēn')
A bitter crystalline alkaloid extracted from opium, the soluble salts of which are used in medicine as an analgesic, a light anesthetic, or a sedative. Also called morphia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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morphine in Science
A highly addictive drug derived from opium and used to treat intractable pain, as in severe injury or metastatic cancer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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morphine in Culture
morphine [(mawr-feen)]

An addictive drug derived from opium that is used as an analgesic and sedative.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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