physostigmine

noun

phy·​so·​stig·​mine ˌfī-sə-ˈstig-ˌmēn How to pronounce physostigmine (audio)
: a tasteless crystalline alkaloid that is an anticholinesterase obtained from the Calabar bean and is used in medicine parenterally in the form of its salicylate C15H21N3O2·C7H6O3 especially to reverse the toxic effects of an anticholinergic agent (such as atropine) and topically in the form of its sulfate (C15H21N3O2)2·H2SO3 as a miotic in the treatment of glaucoma

called also eserine

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from German Physostigmin, from New Latin Physostigma, the genus that includes the calabar bean (from Greek phŷsa "bellows, bladder, breath, wind"—of uncertain origin— + New Latin -o- -o- + stigma stigma) + German -in -in entry 1

Note: The name Physostigmin was introduced by the German chemists Julius von Jobst (1839-1920) and Oswald Hesse (1835-1917) in "Ueber die Bohne von Calabar," Annalen von Chemie und Pharmacie, Band 130 (1864), p. 118. The genus name Physostigma was introduced by the Scottish botanist John Hutton Balfour (1808-84) in "Description of the plant which produces the Ordeal Bean of Calabar," "Read 16th January 1860," Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. 22 (1861), p. 309: "The character by which the plant seems to be especially characterised is the stigma, which has a remarkable crescentic [crescent-shaped] or hooded appendage ….On this account I have proposed to call the genus Physostigma, from φυσάειν, to inflate, and στιγμα, applied to the upper part of the style."

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of physostigmine was in 1864

Dictionary Entries Near physostigmine

Cite this Entry

“Physostigmine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physostigmine. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

physostigmine

noun
phy·​so·​stig·​mine ˌfī-sə-ˈstig-ˌmēn How to pronounce physostigmine (audio)
: a tasteless crystalline alkaloid that is an anticholinesterase obtained from the Calabar bean and is used parenterally in the form of its salicylate C15H21N3O2·C7H6O3 especially to reverse the toxic effects of an anticholinergic agent (as atropine) and topically in the form of its sulfate (C15H21N3O2)2·H2SO3 as a miotic in the treatment of glaucoma

called also eserine

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