cantharides

[kan-thar-i-deez]

Origin of cantharides

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin, plural of cantharis < Greek kantharís blister fly

Spanish fly

noun
  1. Also called cantharides. a preparation of powdered blister beetles, especially the Spanish fly, used medicinally as a counterirritant, diuretic, and aphrodisiac.
  2. 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
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Examples from the Web for cantharides

Historical Examples of cantharides


British Dictionary definitions for cantharides

cantharides

pl n singular cantharis (ˈkænθərɪs)
  1. a diuretic and urogenital stimulant or irritant prepared from the dried bodies of Spanish fly (family Meloidae, not Cantharidae), once thought to be an aphrodisiacAlso called: Spanish fly

Word Origin for cantharides

C15: from Latin, plural of cantharis, from Greek kantharis Spanish fly

Spanish fly

noun
  1. a European blister beetle, Lytta vesicatoria (family Meloidae), the dried bodies of which yield the pharmaceutical product cantharides
  2. another name for cantharides
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