- a blackish, resinlike substance derived from tropical plants of the genus Strychnos, especially S. toxifera, and from the root of pareira, used by certain South American Indians for poisoning arrows and employed in physiological experiments, medicine, etc., for arresting the action of motor nerves.
- a plant yielding this substance.
Origin of curare
Examples from the Web for curare
It is simply incapable of movement, as would happen after an injection of curare.The Industries of Animals
Such is the quickness with which the “curare” does its work!
But the blow-gun was at length levelled, and the curare did its work.
Another process was yet required before the curare was ready for the arrows.
Atropine or curare have no influence on the heart thus poisoned.Poisons: Their Effects and Detection
Alexander Wynter Blyth
- black resin obtained from certain tropical South American trees, esp Chondrodendron tomentosum, acting on the motor nerves to cause muscular paralysis: used medicinally as a muscle relaxant and by South American Indians as an arrow poison
- any of various trees of the genera Chondrodendron (family Menispermaceae) and Strychnos (family Loganiaceae) from which this resin is obtained
Word Origin and History for curare
1777, from Portuguese or Spanish curare, a corruption of the name in the Carib language of the Macusi Indians of Guyana, wurali or wurari, which had a sort of click sound at the beginning, and is said to mean "he to whom it comes falls."
- An extract obtained from several tropical American woody plants, especially Chondrodendron tomentosum, used as an arrow poison by some Indian peoples of South America.
- A purified preparation or alkaloid obtained from Chondrodendron tomentosum, used to relax skeletal muscles.
- A dark, resinous extract obtained from several tropical American woody plants, especially Chondrodendron tomentosum or certain species of Strychnos, used as an arrow poison by some Indian peoples of South America.
- A purified preparation of an alkaloid obtained from Chondrodendron tomentosum, used in medicine and surgery to relax skeletal muscles.