Origin of cantharides
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin, plural of cantharis < Greek kantharís blister fly
- 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 cantharides
The mucus of the bladder is increased by cantharides, and perhaps by oil of turpentine.Zoonomia, Vol. II
I extract from them the following details concerning the Cantharides.The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles
Jean Henri Fabre
What are the singular forms of cantharides, phnomena, and data?A Handbook of the English Language
Robert Gordon Latham
Cantharides in powder may, of course, be detected by its appearance.Poisons: Their Effects and Detection
Alexander Wynter Blyth
The Cantharides or Spanish Flies, is a species of insect every one has heard of.
- 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
C15: from Latin, plural of cantharis, from Greek kantharis Spanish fly
- a European blister beetle, Lytta vesicatoria (family Meloidae), the dried bodies of which yield the pharmaceutical product cantharides
- another name for cantharides