- a white, bitter, crystalline alkaloid, C17H19NO3⋅H2O, 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.
- an alkaloid extracted from opium: used in medicine as an analgesic and sedative, although repeated use causes addiction. Formula: C 17 H 19 NO 3
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.
- 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.morphia
- A highly addictive drug derived from opium and used to treat intractable pain, as in severe injury or metastatic cancer.