- Also called cantharides. a preparation of powdered blister beetles, especially the Spanish fly, used medicinally as a counterirritant, diuretic, and aphrodisiac.
- Also Span·ish·fly. Also called cantharis. a common European blister beetle, Cantharis (Lytta) vesicatoria, that yields this preparation.
Origin of Spanish fly
First recorded in 1400–50; so called from the fact that the beetles are found in abundance in Spain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for spanish fly
In India also a species of Meloe is used,194 possessing all the properties of the Spanish-fly.
In cases where the growth of horn seems too slow a Spanish-fly blister applied to the heels is often followed by good results.Special Report on Diseases of the Horse
United States Department of Agriculture
- a European blister beetle, Lytta vesicatoria (family Meloidae), the dried bodies of which yield the pharmaceutical product cantharides
- another name for cantharides
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012