a medicine or other remedy for counteracting the effects of poison, disease, etc.
something that prevents or counteracts injurious or unwanted effects: Good jobs are the best antidote to teenage crime.

verb (used with object), an·ti·dot·ed, an·ti·dot·ing.

to counteract with an antidote: Medication was given to antidote the poison the child had swallowed.

Origin of antidote

1400–50; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin antidotum < Greek antídoton something given against (i.e., for counteracting), equivalent to anti- anti- + dotón neuter of dotós given, verbid of didónai to give; akin to datum
Related formsan·ti·dot·al, an·ti·dot·i·cal [an-ti-dot-i-kuh l] /ˌæn tɪˈdɒt ɪ kəl/, adjectivean·ti·dot·al·ly, an·ti·dot·i·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedanecdote antedate antidote Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for antidote



med a drug or agent that counteracts or neutralizes the effects of a poison
anything that counteracts or relieves a harmful or unwanted condition; remedy
Derived Formsantidotal, adjective

Word Origin for antidote

C15: from Latin antidotum, from Greek antidoton something given as a countermeasure, from anti- + didonai to give
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

Word Origin and History for antidote

"remedy counteracting poison," 1510s (earlier in English as a Latin word), from Middle French antidot and directly from Latin antidotum "a remedy against poison," from Greek antidoton "given as a remedy," literally "given against," verbal adjective of antididonai "give in return," from anti- "against" + didonai "to give" (see date (n.1)). Cf. Middle English antidotarie "treatise on drugs or medicines" (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

antidote in Medicine




An agent used to neutralize or counteract the effects of a poison.
Related formsan′ti•dotal (ăn′tĭ-dōtl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

antidote in Science



A substance that counteracts the effects of a poison.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.