noun Old Pharmacology.

a confection believed to contain an antidote to every poison.

Origin of mithridate

1520–30; earlier mithridatum < Medieval Latin, variant of Late Latin mithridātium, noun use of neuter of Mithridātius, equivalent to Mithridāt(ēs) Mithridates VI (see mithridatism) + -ius -ious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mithridate

Historical Examples of mithridate

  • Note: Realgar: The Chinese believe that realgar is a mithridate and tonic.

  • The mithridate is still prepared in some shops, and is occasionally, though very rarely, prescribed.

  • Mithridate was formerly conceived to be good for nearly every disease, and an antidote for every known poison.

  • The cabal which gathered head against Bajazet could only whisper its malignities when Mithridate appeared.

  • Officers and ladies took part in the performances, and the plays Nicomède and Mithridate were wholly unobjectionable.

    Count Frontenac

    William Dawson LeSueur

British Dictionary definitions for mithridate



obsolete a substance believed to be an antidote to every poison and a cure for every disease

Word Origin for mithridate

C16: from Late Latin mithradatium, after Mithridates VI, alluding to his legendary immunity to poisons
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 mithridate

"antidote against poison," from Medieval Latin mithridatum, from Late Latin mithridatium, neuter of Mithridatius "pertaining to Mithridates," king of Pontus, who made himself poison-proof.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper