1 an addictive narcotic drug extracted from the unripe seed capsules of the opium poppy and containing alkaloids such as morphine and codeine: used in medicine as an analgesic and hypnotic
2 something having a tranquillizing or stupefying effect (C14: from Latin: poppy juice, from Greek opion, diminutive of opos juice of a plant)
n a place where opium is sold and used
n a poppy, Papaver somniferum, of SW Asia, with greyish-green leaves and typically white or reddish flowers: widely cultivated as a source of opium
pl n two wars (1839--42; 1856--60) between China and Britain resulting from the Chinese refusal to allow the importation of opium from India. China ceded Hong Kong after the British victory in 1842. The British and French victory in the second war established free trade in Chinese ports and the legalization of the opium trade
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