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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near cantharis

cantharidize

cantharis

cantharus

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Cite this Entry

“Cantharis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cantharis. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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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

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