Medical Definition of Morpheus

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Morpheus: In Greek and Roman mythology, the son of sleep and the god of dreams who lay on an ebony bed in a dim-lit cave, surrounded by poppies. (Opium is derived from poppies, Genus Papaver somniferum.) Morpheus was the son of Hypnos from whence comes hypnosis. To be in the arms of Morpheus is to be asleep. The drug morphine is named after Morpheus.

The Roman poet Ovid (43BC-17AD) coined the name of Morpheus from the Greek morphe, form + the Latin -eus, because Morpheus was responsible for shaping dreams, and giving shape to the beings who inhabit dreams.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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