1898, from German Heroin, coined 1898 as trademark registered by Friedrich Bayer & Co. for their morphine substitute. According to tradition the word was coined with chemical suffix -ine (2) (German -in) + Greek hērōs "hero" (see hero (n.1)) because of the euphoric feeling the drug provides, but no evidence for this seems to have been found so far.
A new hypnotic, to which the name of 'heroin' has been given, has been tried in the medical clinic of Professor Gerhardt in Berlin. [The Lancet, Dec. 3, 1898]
updated on August 16, 2020