soma n.

in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World: a narcotic drug which produces euphoria and hallucination, distributed by the state in order to control the population by promoting content and social harmony

[after soma, an intoxicating drink holding a prominent place in Vedic ritual and religion]


  • 1932 A. Huxley Brave New World iii. 66 Aldous Huxley bibliography

    There is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon.

  • 1932 A. Huxley Brave New World v. 95 Aldous Huxley bibliography

    The soma had begun to work. Eyes shone, cheeks were flushed, the inner light of universal benevolence broke out on every face in happy, friendly smiles.

  • 1968 β€˜J. le Carré’ Small Town in Germany ix. 155

    If I smoked I’d smoke one of your cigars. I could do with a bit of soma just now.

  • 1990 Newsweek 16 Apr. 12/1

    To paint Prozac as the soma of the ’90s and then decry the drug-abuse problem seems contradictory.

  • 2006 L. Welsh Bullet Trick (2007) 113

    She eased her hips into a long weaving roll like a Hawaiian girl who’d had some soma slipped in her coconut milk.

Last modified 2021-01-21 13:39:46
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.