Definition of curare
1 : a complex poison of South American Indians used on arrow tips that causes muscle relaxation and paralysis, includes various substances of plant and animal origin, and typically contains an alkaloid extracted from one of two South American vines (Strychnos toxifera of the family Loganiaceae or Chondodendron tomentosum of the family Menispermaceae) as the primary active ingredient
2 : an extract containing one of the primary alkaloid constituents (such as tubocurarine) of curare
Recent Examples of curare from the Web
Poison frogs, also known as poison dart frogs, belong to a diverse group that is commonly associated with curare and other toxins, with which indigenous people have historically laced their hunting spears.
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Origin and Etymology of curare
Portuguese & Spanish curare, from Carib kurari
First Known Use: 1777See Words from the same year
Medical Definition of curare
: a dried aqueous extract especially of a vine (as Strychnos toxifera of the family Loganiaceae or Chondodendron tomentosum of the family Menispermaceae) that produces muscle relaxation and is used in arrow poisons by South American Indians—compare tubocurarine
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