- a drug or drink, or the plant yielding it, mentioned by ancient writers as having the power to bring forgetfulness of sorrow or trouble.
- anything inducing a pleasurable sensation of forgetfulness, especially of sorrow or trouble.
Origin of nepenthe
Related Words for nepentheanesthetic, opium, painkiller, dope, sedative, opiate, tranquilizer, heroin, merchandise, junk, fix, hypnotic, soporific, stuff, analgesic, anodyne, downer, lenitive, laudanum, somnifacient
Examples from the Web for nepenthe
Historical Examples of nepenthe
Perhaps it was a berry of the nepenthe, which brought oblivion.The Works of Theophile Gautier, Volume 5
This particular preparation of valerian is nepenthe for the nerves.The Bishop's Secret
In the Odyssey, in connection with Helen, mention is made of nepenthe.
Crown us with asphodel flowers, that are wet with the dews of nepenthe.Great Inventions and Discoveries
Willis Duff Piercy
I am getting restless again, and there flow the waters of Nepenthe.The Call of the Town
John Alexander Hammerton
- a drug, or the plant providing it, that ancient writers referred to as a means of forgetting grief or trouble
- anything that produces sleep, forgetfulness, or pleasurable dreaminess
Word Origin for nepenthe
1570s, nepenthes, from Greek nepenthes, from ne- "no, not" (see un-) + penthos "pain, grief," from PIE *kwent(h)- "to suffer" (see pathos). A drug of Egypt mentioned in the "Odyssey" as capable of banishing grief or trouble from the mind. The -s is a proper part of the word, but likely was mistaken in English as a plural affix and dropped.