cantharidin

noun

can·​thar·​i·​din kan-ˈther-ə-dən How to pronounce cantharidin (audio)
-ˈtha-rə-
: a bitter crystalline compound C10H12O4 that is the active blister-producing ingredient of cantharides

Examples of cantharidin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web No antidote for the cantharidin in blister beetles exists. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 7 Apr. 2023 The semen of the American fire beetle Neopyrochroa flabellata, for example, is spiked with the poisonous compound cantharidin. Menno Schilthuizen, Discover Magazine, 28 Apr. 2015 Male meloid beetles gift cantharidin to females, who in turn squirt it on their eggs to deter predators. Troy Farah, Discover Magazine, 13 Apr. 2018 Liesch, who has been in his position for six years, said blister beetles produce cantharidin as a defense, and the chemical can cause irritation and blistering either on the skin or internally if it is ingested by a human or other animal. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Jan. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cantharidin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1819, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cantharidin was in 1819

Dictionary Entries Near cantharidin

Cite this Entry

“Cantharidin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cantharidin. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Medical Definition

cantharidin

noun
can·​thar·​i·​din kan-ˈthar-əd-ən How to pronounce cantharidin (audio)
: a bitter crystalline compound C10H12O4 that is the active blister-producing ingredient of cantharides
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