Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

curare

or cu·ra·ri

[kyoo-rahr-ee, koo-]
noun
  1. 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.
  2. a plant yielding this substance.
Show More

Origin of curare

1770–80; < Portuguese < Carib kurari
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for curare

Historical Examples

  • It is simply incapable of movement, as would happen after an injection of curare.

    The Industries of Animals

    Frdric Houssay

  • 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.


British Dictionary definitions for curare

curare

curari

noun
  1. 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
  2. any of various trees of the genera Chondrodendron (family Menispermaceae) and Strychnos (family Loganiaceae) from which this resin is obtained
Show More

Word Origin

C18: from Portuguese and Spanish, from Carib kurari
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 curare

n.

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."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

curare in Medicine

curare

n.
  1. An extract obtained from several tropical American woody plants, especially Chondrodendron tomentosum, used as an arrow poison by some Indian peoples of South America.
  2. A purified preparation or alkaloid obtained from Chondrodendron tomentosum, used to relax skeletal muscles.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

curare in Science

curare

[ku-rärē, kyu-]
  1. 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.
  2. A purified preparation of an alkaloid obtained from Chondrodendron tomentosum, used in medicine and surgery to relax skeletal muscles.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.