late 14c., narcotik, "substance which directly induces sleep or allays sensibility and blunts the senses," from Old French narcotique (early 14c.), noun use of adjective, and directly from Medieval Latin narcoticum, from Greek narkōtikon, neuter of narkōtikos "making stiff or numb," from narkōtos, verbal adjective of narkoun "to benumb, make unconscious," from narkē "numbness, deadness, stupor, cramp" (also "the electric ray").
This has been connected to a PIE root *(s)nerq- "to turn, twist," with cognates in Germanic (Old Norse snara "to turn, swing, wind;" see snare (n.1)), but Beekes finds this "semantically far from convincing," and writes, "The structure of this word looks non-IE. Therefore, we should rather assume a Pre-Greek word *nark-." Sense of "any illegal drug" first recorded 1926, American English. Related: Narcotics.
c. 1600, "having the power to produce stupor," from French narcotique (14c.) or German narkotisch and directly from Medieval Latin narcoticus, from Greek narkōtikos (see narcotic (n.)). As "consisting in or characterized by stupor," from 1660s. Related: Narcotical (1580s).
1690s, "state of unconsciousness caused by a narcotic," Modern Latin, from Greek narkōsis, from narkoun "to benumb" (see narcotic (n.)).
word-forming element meaning "stupor, narcosis, sleep," also "of or pertaining to narcotic drugs," from Latinized form of Greek narko-, combining form of narke "numbness" (see narcotic (n.)).
type of bulbous flowering plant, 1540s, from Latin narcissus, from Greek narkissos, a plant name, not the modern narcissus, possibly a type of iris or lily, associated with Greek narkē "numbness" (see narcotic (n.)) because of the sedative effect of the alkaloids in the plant, but Beekes considers this folk-etymology and writes that "The suffix clearly points to a Pre-Greek word."
"condition characterized by a tendency to fall into a short sleep on any occasion," 1880, from French narcolepsie, coined 1880 by French physician Jean-Baptiste-Édouard Gélineau (1859-1928) from Latinized combining form of Greek narkē "numbness, stupor" (see narcotic (n.)) + -lepsie (as in epilepsy), from Greek lepsis "an attack, seizure," from leps-, future stem of lambanein "take, take hold of, grasp" (see lemma). Related: Narcoleptic; narcolept.
"marijuana, Cannabis sativa smoked as a narcotic," 1660s, from Afrikaans, from Khoisan (Hottentot) dachab. Originally the name of an indigenous plant used as a narcotic, extended to marijuana by 1796.