[ bee-zawr, -zohr ]
/ ˈbi zɔr, -zoʊr /


a calculus or concretion found in the stomach or intestines of certain animals, especially ruminants, formerly reputed to be an effective remedy for poison.
Obsolete. a counterpoison or antidote.

Nearby words

  1. beza,
  2. bezaleel,
  3. bezant,
  4. bezel,
  5. bezique,
  6. bezold's abscess,
  7. bezonian,
  8. bezwada,
  9. bezzant,
  10. bf

Origin of bezoar

1470–80; earlier bezear < Medieval Latin bezahar < Arabic bā(di)zahr < Persian pād-zahr counterpoison; -o- < New Latin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bezoar

British Dictionary definitions for bezoar


/ (ˈbiːzɔː) /


a hard mass, such as a stone or hairball, in the stomach and intestines of animals, esp ruminants, and man: formerly thought to be an antidote to poisons

Word Origin for bezoar

C15: from Old French bézoard, from Arabic bāzahr, from Persian bādzahr, from bād against + zahr poison

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 bezoar



late 15c., ultimately from Arabic bazahr, from Persian pad-zahr "counter-poison," from pad "protecting, guardian, master" (from Iranian *patar-, cf. Avestan patar-, from PIE *pa-tor-, from root *pa- "to protect, feed") + zahr "poison" (from Old Iranian *jathra, from PIE *gwhn-tro-, from root *gwhen- "to strike, kill;" see bane). Originally "antidote," later specifically in reference to a concoction from solid matter found in the stomachs and intestines of ruminants, which was held to have antidotal qualities (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for bezoar


[ bēzôr′ ]


A hard indigestible mass of material, such as hair, vegetable fibers, or the seeds and skins of fruits, formed in the alimentary canal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.