Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

theriac

play
noun the·ri·ac \ˈthir-ē-ˌak\

Definition of theriac

  1. 1 :  theriaca

  2. 2 :  cure-all



Examples of theriac in a sentence

  1. <the wizard's attempts to concoct a theriac for the king came to naught>



Did You Know?

There really is no such thing as a single remedy for all that ails us. But that hasn't kept English speakers from creating, not just a single word, but several words, that mean "cure-all": catholicon, elixir, nostrum, panacea, and theriac. When we first used theriac, it meant "an antidote for poison" - for any and all poisons, that is. That's how our Roman and Greek forebears used their theriaca and thēriake, which derive ultimately from the Greek word for "wild animal." The first theriac was supposedly created by the first-century Greek physician Andromachus, whose concoction consisted of some 70 drugs pulverized with honey. Medieval physicians created even more elaborate theriacs to dose a plague-dreading populace, for whom the possibility of a cure-all didn't seem too wild a notion at all.

Origin and Etymology of theriac

New Latin theriaca


First Known Use: 1568


Medical Dictionary

theriac

play
noun the·ri·ac \ˈthir-ē-ˌak\

Medical Definition of theriac




Learn More about theriac


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up theriac? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a representation of something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

melancholy lazy philistine frenetic
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ