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morphine

Meaning: a highly addictive medicinal narcotic drug derived from opium. It is often used as a pain reliever and sedative.

For example:

  • After the surgery, the patient received morphine for the pain.

  • The doctor administered morphine to make the dying woman more comfortable.

Origin: The son of Somnus, the Roman god of sleep, Morpheus was the god of dreams as reported in Ovid's Latin narrative poem Metamorphosis (8 AD). Morpheus can mimic humans and appear in their dreams. The opiate drug morphine is named after this mythological character.

Quick Quiz:

Why is it important to limit the use of morphine?

a. It is an addictive drug.

b. It causes cancer.

c. It reduces physical pain.

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Contributor: Tara Benwell