cantharis

noun
can·​tha·​ris | \ ˈkan(t)-thə-rəs How to pronounce cantharis (audio) \
plural cantharides\ kan-​ˈther-​ə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce cantharis (audio) , -​ˈtha-​rə-​ \

Definition of cantharis

2 cantharides plural in form but singular or plural in construction : a preparation of dried beetles (such as Spanish flies) used in medicine as a counterirritant and formerly as an aphrodisiac

First Known Use of cantharis

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cantharis

Middle English cantaride (usually in plural) "the blister beetle Lytta vesicatoria (earlier Cantharis vesictoria), preparation made from the beetles," borrowed from Latin cantharid-, cantharis (plural cantharidēs) "the beetle Lytta vesicatoria," borrowed from Greek kantharís, from kántharos "the dung beetle Gymnopleurus mopsus" (of obscure origin) + -id-, -is, diminutive suffix

Note: The Greek word kántharos denotes various things (beetle, cup, a kind of boat, a species of fish) the interrelations of which are far from clear; possibly several words of distinct origin have merged.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About cantharis

Time Traveler for cantharis

Time Traveler

The first known use of cantharis was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near cantharis

cantharidize

cantharis

cantharus

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cantharis

Cite this Entry

“Cantharis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cantharis. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cantharis

cantharis

noun
can·​tha·​ris | \ ˈkan(t)-thə-rəs How to pronounce cantharis (audio) \
plural cantharides\ kan-​ˈthar-​ə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce cantharis (audio) \

Medical Definition of cantharis

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 cantharides plural in form but singular or plural in construction : a preparation of dried beetles and especially Spanish flies that contains cantharidin and is used in medicine as a blister-producing agent and formerly as an aphrodisiac

called also Spanish fly

Cantharis

noun
Can·​tha·​ris | \ ˈkan(t)-thə-rəs How to pronounce Cantharis (audio) \

Medical Definition of Cantharis (Entry 2 of 2)

taxonomic synonym of lytta

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!