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Blend of (hydro)lys(is) +‎ erg(ot) +‎ -ic (suffix forming adjectives from nouns).[1] Sense 2 (“psychedelic, trippy”) refers to the effects of taking the drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).



lysergic (not generally comparable, comparative more lysergic, superlative most lysergic)

  1. (not comparable, organic chemistry) Used in the designation of lysergic acid and lysergic acid diethylamide: produced by hydrolysis from ergot. [from 1930s]
    • 1936, Thomas Lathrop Stedman, “ergostetrine”, in A Practical Medical Dictionary [...], 13th revised edition, Baltimore, Md.: William Wood and Company, OCLC 41843256, page 368, column 2:
      Much more soluble in water than ergotoxine, ergotamine, sensibamine or ergoclavine, and is thought to be the hydroxyisopropylamide of lysergic acid.
    • 1937 August, Walter A[braham] Jacobs; R. Gordon Gould, Jr., “The Ergot Alkaloids: XII. The Synthesis of Substances Related to Lysergic Acid”, in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, volume 120, number 1, Baltimore, Md.: Published at Yale University for The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Inc. [], page 141:
      In a series of papers during the past few years Jacobs and [Lyman C.] Craig have shown that the ergot alkaloids are derivatives of a unique acid base, lysergic acid, in which the latter or an isomer is conjugated with certain amino acids or substances which can be derived from them, such as 2-aminopropanol-1, pyruvic acid, and isobutyrylformic acid. Since lysergic acid is thus the common characteristic constituent of these alkaloids, the determination of its structure became at once a major issue in the ergot alkaloid problem.
    • 1968, Charles Milton Fischer, The Effect of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide on the Carbohydrate Metabolism of the Brain (unpublished B.S. in Dentistry dissertation), San Francisco, Calif.: University of California, San Francisco, OCLC 1020059998, page 1:
      In 1938, while experimenting with derivatives of ergot, a Swiss chemist named Hoffman[sic, meaning [Albert] Hofmann] first produced the drug, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, by adding a diethylamide group onto lysergic acid.
    • 1966 May 23, James L. Goddard, interviewee, The Narcotic Rehabilitation Act of 1966: Hearings before a Special Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-ninth Congress, Second Session, Pursuant to S. Res. 199 Eighty-ninth Congress and S. 2113, S. 2114, S. 2152 and LSD and Marihuana Use on College Campuses [...], Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, OCLC 778800, page 330:
      We have used lysergic acid which is available commercially, and we have found that the conversion of lysergic acid to LSD can be accomplished in a relatively simple manner by procedures that can be followed by experienced chemists. In fact, we believe a crude form of LSD could be produced by a college chemistry student who had access to the equipment in a college chemistry laboratory.
    • 2007, K. G. Ramawat and ‎J. M. Merillon, editors, Biotechnology: Secondary Metabolites: Plants and Microbes, 2nd edition, Enfield, N.H.: Science Publishers; Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, →ISBN, page 375:
      The ergot alkaloids in general are classified into four main structural groups: 1. the simple amide group such as LSD and the methyl carbinolamide; 2. more complex peptide complex viz. ergotamine, where the lysergic acid moiety is linked with cyclic tri-pepide via an amide bond 3. lysergic acids and 4. clavine alkaloids [].
  2. (comparable) Psychedelic, trippy.
    • 2000 December 26, Scott Seward, “Snowplow you bad elephant!”, in The Village Voice[1], archived from the original on 31 January 2018:
      The Doves' mantras of desolation are even trippier than the first couple Cranes records (though maybe not as lysergic as prime Swans or Ravens), []
    • 2010, Richard Henderson, Van Dyke Parks’ Song Cycle (33⅓ [series])‎[2], London: Continuum International Publishing Group, →ISBN, page 100:
      As mentioned earlier, my first impression of the sleeve art was that it bore marked similarity to a poetry collection – nothing very lysergic about that.
    • 2014 October 25, Marina O'Loughlin, “David Shrigley at Sketch, London W1 – restaurant review: ‘This might be the most absurd restaurant in the country. Is Jeff Koons cooking?’”, in The Guardian[3], London, archived from the original on 10 March 2017:
      On the evidence of this lysergic dish – blobs and pools of strident oddness, especially the mozzarella-topped gelée that tastes like the stuff left at the bottom of olive tins topped with organic foaming facewash – [David] Shrigley's better off sticking to the art.

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