Definition of the opium of the people (or masses) in English:

the opium of the people (or masses)

phrase

  • Something regarded as inducing a false and unrealistic sense of contentment among people.

    • ‘In a way, the lottery has become, as Mr Marx would have said, ‘the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of heartless conditions, the opium of the people.’’
    • ‘Food has long been the opium of the masses.’
    • ‘It's almost like the opium of the people that Karl Marx was talking about a century ago.’
    • ‘Marx called religion the heart of a heartless world, the soul of a soulless condition, the opium of the people.’
    • ‘Football was viewed by a man whose business judgement is rarely wrong, as the opium of the masses and the quickest way to shift satellite dishes.’
    • ‘Marx said that religion is the opium of the people.’
    • ‘Some papers are now part of the showbiz industry and for many, celebrity rather than religion is now the opium of the people.’
    • ‘But in Bachelder's America, the corporation is king, entertainment is the opium of the masses and you are free to do exactly what you are told.’
    • ‘Perhaps Tommy thinks mints are the opium of the masses but, seeing him there, Curran immediately withdrew the Polos and handed them back to Rosie.’
    • ‘The well-known expression that religion is the opium of the people was made famous by Marx but was also used independently around the same time by the Christian reformer Charles Kingsley.’