A drug is a medicine. Before you travel to India, your doctor may prescribe a drug to protect you from getting malaria.

A substance that makes a change in your body is a drug. Most often, a drug is medicine prescribed by a doctor to protect a patient from illness, cure them, or relieve their pain. Drug also means an illegal substance taken simply for the way it makes the user feel. Drug is also a verb that describes both taking illegal drugs and giving someone a drug secretly, such as slipping it into their food or drink.

Definitions of drug
  1. noun
    a substance that is used as a medicine or narcotic
    see moresee less
    show 166 types...
    hide 166 types...
    aborticide, abortifacient, abortion-inducing drug
    a drug (or other chemical agent) that causes abortion
    (biochemistry) a drug that can combine with a receptor on a cell to produce a physiological reaction
    anaesthetic, anaesthetic agent, anesthesia, anesthetic, anesthetic agent
    a drug that causes temporary loss of bodily sensations
    a drug that neutralizes or counteracts the effects of another drug
    a drug (or other chemical agent) that is effective against syphilis
    anti-TNF compound
    a class of drugs that block the action of tumor necrosis factor (TNF); used in cases of rheumatoid arthritis because TNF instigates inflammation of the joints
    a drug made from part of a plant (as the bark or root or leaves)
    brand-name drug, proprietary drug
    a drug that has a trade name and is protected by a patent (can be produced and sold only by the company holding the patent)
    controlled substance
    a drug or chemical substance whose possession and use are controlled by law
    a drug that causes dilation
    diuretic, diuretic drug, water pill
    any substance that tends to increase the flow of urine, which causes the body to get rid of excess water
    drug of abuse, street drug
    a drug that is taken for nonmedicinal reasons (usually for mind-altering effects); drug abuse can lead to physical and mental damage and (with some substances) dependence and addiction
    trade name of a drug rich in iron; used to treat some kinds of anemia
    trade name of a drug rich in iron; used to treat some types of anemia
    fertility drug
    a drug used to increase a woman's fertility
    generic drug
    when the patent protection for a brand-name drug expires generic versions of the drug can be offered for sale if the FDA agrees
    a drug that can produce a state of intoxication
    Lorfan, levallorphan
    drug (trade name Lorfan) that is related to morphine but that counteracts the respiratory depression produced by morphine poisoning but without affecting its analgesic effects
    medicament, medication, medicinal drug, medicine
    (medicine) something that treats or prevents or alleviates the symptoms of disease
    miotic, miotic drug, myotic, myotic drug
    a drug that causes miosis (constriction of the pupil of the eye)
    mydriatic, mydriatic drug
    a drug that causes the pupil of the eye to dilate; used to aid eye examinations
    a drug that produces numbness or stupor; often taken for pleasure or to reduce pain; extensive use can lead to addiction
    Trental, pentoxifylline
    a drug (trade name Trental) used to treat claudication; believed to increase the flexibility of red blood cells so they can flow through the blood vessels to the legs and feet
    consciousness-altering drug, mind-altering drug, psychoactive drug, psychoactive substance
    a drug that can produce mood changes and distorted perceptions
    psychotropic agent
    a chemical substance that can influence human consciousness
    a drug that relaxes and relieves tension
    hypnotic, soporific
    a drug that induces sleep
    excitant, stimulant, stimulant drug
    a drug that temporarily quickens some vital process
    appetite suppressant, suppressant
    a drug that suppresses appetite
    a drug that augments the activity of another drug
    anti-impotence drug, virility drug
    drug to treat impotence attributable to erectile dysfunction
    a pesticide or drug containing arsenic
    RU 486, abortion pill, mifepristone
    an abortion-inducing drug (trade name RU_486) developed in France; when taken during the first five weeks of pregnancy it blocks the action of progesterone so that the uterus sloughs off the embryo
    Zovirax, acyclovir
    an oral antiviral drug (trade name Zovirax) used to treat genital herpes; does not cure the disease but relieves the symptoms
    Fosamax, alendronate
    a tablet (trade name Fosamax) prescribed to prevent or treat osteoporosis in women after menopause
    Zyloprim, allopurinol
    a drug (trade name Zyloprim) used to treat gout and other conditions in which there is an excessive buildup of uric acid
    Inocor, amrinone
    a drug (trade name Inocor) used intravenously in heart failure; increases strength of contraction of myocardium
    a medication used as a stimulant to the central nervous system
    analgesic, anodyne, pain pill, painkiller
    a medicine used to relieve pain
    angiogenesis inhibitor
    a drug that is designed to prevent the growth of blood vessels that nourish tumors
    antiarrhythmic, antiarrhythmic drug, antiarrhythmic medication
    a drug used to treat an abnormal heart rhythm
    antibacterial, antibacterial drug, bactericide
    any drug that destroys bacteria or inhibits their growth
    anticholinergic, anticholinergic drug
    a substance that opposes or blocks the action of acetylcholine
    a medicine that inhibits cholinesterase by combining with it and so has a cholinergic effect
    anticoagulant, anticoagulant medication, decoagulant
    medicine that prevents or retards the clotting of blood
    anticonvulsant, anticonvulsant drug, antiepileptic, antiepileptic drug
    a drug used to treat or prevent convulsions (as in epilepsy)
    antidepressant, antidepressant drug
    any of a class of drugs used to treat depression; often have undesirable side effects
    antidiabetic, antidiabetic drug
    a drug used to treat diabetes mellitus
    antidiarrheal, antidiarrheal drug
    a drug used to control or stop diarrhea
    antidiuretic, antidiuretic drug
    a drug that limits the formation of urine
    antiemetic, antiemetic drug
    a drug that prevents or alleviates nausea and vomiting
    a medicine used to treat allergies and hypersensitive reactions and colds; works by counteracting the effects of histamine on a receptor site
    antihypertensive, antihypertensive drug
    a drug that reduces high blood pressure
    anti-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory drug
    a medicine intended to reduce inflammation
    antiprotozoal, antiprotozoal drug
    a medicinal drug used to fight diseases (like malaria) that are caused by protozoa
    antipyretic, febrifuge
    any medicine that lowers body temperature to prevent or alleviate fever
    a substance that destroys microorganisms that carry disease without harming body tissues
    antispasmodic, antispasmodic agent, spasmolytic
    a drug used to relieve or prevent spasms (especially of the smooth muscles)
    any medicine used to suppress or relieve coughing
    antiviral, antiviral agent, antiviral drug
    any drug that destroys viruses
    a drug combination found in some over-the-counter headache remedies (aspirin and phenacetin and caffeine)
    a drug or other agent that stimulates sexual desire
    astringent, astringent drug, styptic
    a drug that causes contraction of body tissues and canals
    atomic cocktail
    an oral dose of radioactive substance used in treatment and diagnosis of cancer
    a poisonous crystalline alkaloid extracted from the nightshade family; used as an antispasmodic and to dilate the eye pupil; also administered in large amounts as an antidote for organophosphate nerve agents or organophosphate insecticides
    Imuran, azathioprine
    an immunosuppressive drug (trade name Imuran) used to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ
    blocker, blocking agent
    a class of drugs that inhibit (block) some biological process
    a drug that relaxes and dilates the bronchial passageways and improves the passages of air into the lungs
    butyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite
    a colorless pungent liquid sometimes used as a stimulant drug by drug abusers
    calcium blocker, calcium-channel blocker
    any of a class of drugs that block the flow of the electrolyte calcium (either in nerve cell conduction or smooth muscle contraction of the heart); has been used in the treatment of angina or arrhythmia or hypertension or migraine
    cannabis, ganja, marihuana, marijuana
    the most commonly used illicit drug; considered a soft drug, it consists of the dried leaves of the hemp plant; smoked or chewed for euphoric effect
    medication that prevents the formation of gas in the alimentary tract or eases its passing
    Hygroton, Thalidone, chlorthalidone
    a diuretic (trade names Hygroton and Thalidone) used to control hypertension and conditions that cause edema; effective in lowering blood pressure to prevent heart attacks
    Atromid-S, clofibrate
    a drug (trade name Atromid-S) that reduces lipids in the blood serum; used to treat some cardiovascular diseases
    Clomid, clomiphene, clomiphene citrate
    a fertility drug (trade name Clomid) that is used to stimulate ovulation and that has been associated with multiple births
    Plavix, clopidogrel bisulfate
    a blood thinner (trade name Plavix) approved for the treatment of mild heart attacks; works by preventing blood platelets from sticking together to form clots that would restrict blood flow
    club drug
    a controlled substance that is usually taken by young people at dance clubs and raves
    cold medicine
    medicine intended to relieve the symptoms of the common cold
    a medicine applied locally to produce superficial inflammation in order to reduce deeper inflammation
    cytotoxic drug
    any drug that has a toxic effect on cells; commonly used in chemotherapy to inhibit the proliferation of cancerous cells
    a drug that decreases pulmonary congestion
    a medication (in the form of an oil or salve etc.) that soothes inflamed or injured skin
    designer drug
    a psychoactive drug deliberately synthesized to avoid anti-drug laws; mimics the effects of a banned drug; law was revised in 1986 to ban designer drugs
    used to produce perspiration
    Antabuse, disulfiram
    a drug (trade name Antabuse) used in the treatment of alcoholism; causes nausea and vomiting if alcohol is ingested
    dosage, dose
    a measured portion of medicine taken at any one time
    the trade name for a drug used to treat upper respiratory congestion; it contains an antihistamine and a bronchodilator and a vasoconstrictor
    psychoactive substance present in marijuana; used therapeutically to control nausea associated with cancer therapy
    HAART, drug cocktail, highly active antiretroviral therapy
    a combination of protease inhibitors taken with reverse transcriptase inhibitors; used in treating AIDS and HIV
    estrogen antagonist, tamoxifen
    an antagonist for estrogen that is used in the treatment of breast cancer
    Enbrel, etanercept
    a genetically engineered anti-TNF compound (trade name Enbrel) consisting of receptors that bind TNF; it is injected twice a week in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
    Edecrin, ethacrynic acid
    diuretic (trade name Edecrin) used to treat edema
    a psychoactive drug that tends to produce elation and euphoria
    expectorant, expectorator
    a medicine promoting expectoration
    fixed-combination drug
    drug containing fixed amounts of two or more ingredients
    Lasix, furosemide
    commonly used diuretic (trade name Lasix) used to treat hypertension and edema
    gateway drug
    a habit-forming drug that is not addictive but its use may lead to the use of other addictive drugs
    Lopid, gemfibrozil
    medication (trade name Lopid) used to lower the levels of triglyceride in the blood
    general anaesthetic, general anesthetic
    an anesthetic that anesthetizes the entire body and causes loss of consciousness
    hallucinogen, hallucinogenic drug, psychedelic drug, psychodelic drug
    a psychoactive drug that induces hallucinations or altered sensory experiences
    hard drug
    a narcotic that is considered relatively strong and likely to cause addiction
    haematinic, hematinic
    a medicine that increases the hemoglobin content of the blood; used to treat iron-deficiency anemia
    herbal medicine
    a medicine made from plants and used to prevent or treat disease or promote health
    histamine blocker
    a medicine used to treat the gastric effects of histamine in cases of peptic ulcers and gastritis and gastroesophageal reflux; works by blocking the effects of histamine on the receptor site known as H2
    immune suppressant drug, immunosuppressant, immunosuppressive, immunosuppressive drug, immunosuppressor
    a drug that lowers the body's normal immune response
    Lozal, indapamide
    diuretic (trade name Lozal) used in the treatment of hypertension
    Remicade, infliximab
    an anti-TNF compound (trade name Remicade) consisting of an antibody directed against TNF; it is given intravenously at one-month to three-month intervals; used in treatment of regional enteritis and rheumatoid arthritis
    inhalant, inhalation
    a medication to be taken by inhaling it
    intravenous anesthetic
    an anesthetic that produces anesthesia when injected into the circulatory system
    Isuprel, isoproterenol
    drug (trade name Isuprel) used to treat bronchial asthma and to stimulate the heart
    Isordil, isosorbide
    drug (trade name Isordil) used to treat angina pectoris and congestive heart failure
    African tea, Arabian tea, cat, kat, khat, qat, quat
    the leaves of the shrub Catha edulis which are chewed like tobacco or used to make tea; has the effect of a euphoric stimulant
    Arava, leflunomide
    an anti-TNF compound (trade name Arava) that is given orally; can slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis by slowing the proliferation of white blood cells which reduces inflammation in the synovium
    lipid-lowering medication, lipid-lowering medicine, statin, statin drug
    a medicine that lowers blood cholesterol levels by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase
    local, local anaesthetic, local anesthetic, topical anaesthetic, topical anesthetic
    anesthetic that numbs a particular area of the body
    Osmitrol, mannitol
    a diuretic (trade name Osmitrol) used to promote the excretion of urine
    Demerol, meperidine, meperidine hydrochloride
    a synthetic narcotic drug (trade name Demerol) used to treat pain
    Mecholyl, methacholine
    parasympathomimetic drug (trademark Mecholyl) that stimulates secretions and smooth muscle activity
    dolophine hydrochloride, fixer, methadon, methadone, methadone hydrochloride, synthetic heroin
    synthetic narcotic drug similar to morphine but less habit-forming; used in narcotic detoxification and maintenance of heroin addiction
    Ritalin, methylphenidate
    central nervous system stimulant (trade name Ritalin) used in the treatment of narcolepsy in adults and attention deficit disorder in children
    muscle relaxant
    a drug that reduces muscle contractility by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses or by decreasing the excitability of the motor end plate or by other actions
    a soporific drug that produces an uncontrollable desire to sleep
    narcotic antagonist
    an antagonist used to counteract the effects of narcotics (especially to counteract the depression of respiration)
    nux vomica
    a medicine made from the seeds of an Asiatic tree; contains strychnine and brucine; formerly used as a stimulant
    a narcotic drug that contains opium or an opium derivative
    an addictive narcotic extracted from seed capsules of the opium poppy
    over-the-counter drug, over-the-counter medicine
    a drug that is sold without a prescription
    oxytocic, oxytocic drug
    a drug that induces labor by stimulating contractions of the muscles of the uterus
    camphorated tincture of opium, paregoric
    medicine used to treat diarrhea
    patent medicine
    medicine that is protected by a patent and available without a doctor's prescription
    Cuprimine, penicillamine
    a drug (trade name Cuprimine) used to treat heavy metal poisoning and Wilson's disease and severe arthritis
    Metrazol, pentamethylenetetrazol, pentylenetetrazol
    a drug used as a circulatory and respiratory stimulant; larger doses cause convulsions in shock therapy; Metrazol is a trademark
    pharmaceutic, pharmaceutical
    drug or medicine that is prepared or dispensed in pharmacies and used in medical treatment
    Vasomax, phentolamine
    a virility drug (trade name Vasomax) to treat erectile dysfunction in men
    an innocuous or inert medication; given as a pacifier or to the control group in experiments on the efficacy of a drug
    a container of stimulant drug (amyl nitrate or butyl nitrite)
    any of various cosmetic or medical preparations dispensed in the form of a pulverized powder
    ethical drug, prescription, prescription drug, prescription medicine
    a drug that is available only with written instructions from a doctor or dentist to a pharmacist
    a uricosuric drug that reduces the level of uric acid in the blood; used to treat gout
    aperient, cathartic, physic, purgative
    a purging medicine; stimulates evacuation of the bowels
    recreational drug
    a narcotic drug that is used only occasionally and is claimed to be nonaddictive
    curative, cure, remedy, therapeutic
    a medicine or therapy that cures disease or relieve pain
    a medicine for external application that produces redness of the skin
    depressant, downer, sedative, sedative drug
    a drug that reduces excitability and calms a person
    Viagra, sildenafil, sildenafil citrate
    virility drug (trade name Viagra) used to treat erectile dysfunction in men
    sleeping capsule, sleeping draught, sleeping pill, sleeping tablet
    a soporific drug in the form of a pill (or tablet or capsule)
    soft drug
    a drug of abuse that is considered relatively mild and not likely to cause addiction
    soothing syrup
    medicine in the form of a syrup that has a calming effect
    a medicine that has a mitigating effect on a specific disease
    spinal anaesthetic, spinal anesthetic
    an anesthetic that is injected into the spine
    Carafate, sucralfate
    medicine consisting of a tablet (trade name Carafate) used to treat peptic ulcers; said to bind to the ulcer site and coat it
    sudatory, sudorific
    a medicine that causes or increases sweating
    a small plug of medication designed for insertion into the rectum or vagina where it melts
    Cialis, tadalafil
    virility drug (trade name Cialis) used to treat erectile dysfunction in men
    THC, tetrahydrocannabinol
    psychoactive substance present in marijuana
    any of a group of drugs commonly used as diuretics in the treatment of hypertension; they block the reabsorption of sodium in the kidneys
    (pharmacology) a medicine consisting of an extract in an alcohol solution
    baccy, tobacco
    leaves of the tobacco plant dried and prepared for smoking or ingestion
    restorative, tonic
    a medicine that strengthens and invigorates
    antianxiety agent, ataractic, ataractic agent, ataractic drug, tranquilizer, tranquilliser, tranquillizer
    a drug used to reduce stress or tension without reducing mental clarity
    tyrosine kinase inhibitor
    a drug used in cases of chronic myeloid leukemia
    Levitra, vardenafil
    virility drug (trade name Levitra) used to treat erectile dysfunction in men
    vasodilative, vasodilator
    a drug that causes dilation of blood vessels
    an agent that kills worms (especially those in the intestines)
    anthelminthic, anthelmintic, helminthic, vermifuge
    a medication capable of causing the evacuation of parasitic intestinal worms
    alcohol, alcoholic beverage, alcoholic drink, inebriant, intoxicant
    a liquor or brew containing alcohol as the active agent
    type of:
    a substance that exerts some force or effect
  2. verb
    administer a drug to
    synonyms: dose
    see moresee less
    show 11 types...
    hide 11 types...
    anaesthetise, anaesthetize, anesthetise, anesthetize, put out, put under
    administer an anesthetic drug to
    dope, dope up
    give a narcotic to
    o.d., overdose
    dose too heavily
    narcotise, narcotize
    administer narcotics to
    administer poison to
    etherise, etherize
    anesthetize with ether
    anesthetize with chloroform
    anesthetize by cold
    dope (a racehorse)
    have an intoxicating effect on, of a drug
    interrupt the normal function of by means of anesthesia
    type of:
    medicate, medicine
    treat medicinally, treat with medicine
  3. verb
    use recreational drugs
    synonyms: do drugs
    see moresee less
    show 7 types...
    hide 7 types...
    take by injection
    snort, take a hit
    inhale through the nose
    base, free-base
    use (purified cocaine) by burning it and inhaling the fumes
    take (a drug, especially LSD), by mouth
    take drugs to improve one's athletic performance
    inject into the vein
    take drugs, especially orally
    type of:
    consume, have, ingest, take, take in
    serve oneself to, or consume regularly
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week