theriac

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noun the·ri·ac \ ˈthir-ē-ˌak \

Definition of theriac

theriac was our Word of the Day on 03/12/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of theriac in a Sentence

  1. the wizard's attempts to concoct a theriac for the king came to naught

A theriac For What Ails You

There really is no such thing as a single remedy for all that ails us. But that hasn't kept English speakers from creating not just a single word, but several words, that mean "cure-all": catholicon, elixir, nostrum, panacea, and today's word, theriac. When we first used theriac, it meant "an antidote for poison"—for any and all poisons, that is. That's how our Roman and Greek forebears used their theriaca and thēriakē, which derive ultimately from thēr, the Greek word for "wild animal." The first theriac was supposedly created by the first-century Greek physician Andromachus, whose concoction consisted of some 70 drugs pulverized with honey. Medieval physicians created even more elaborate theriacs to dose a plague-dreading populace, for whom the possibility of a cure-all didn't seem too wild a notion at all.

Origin and Etymology of theriac

New Latin theriaca


Medical Dictionary

theriac

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noun the·ri·ac \ ˈthir-ē-ˌak \

medical Definition of theriac



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