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
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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Historical Examples of spanish fly
British Dictionary definitions for spanish fly
a European blister beetle, Lytta vesicatoria (family Meloidae), the dried bodies of which yield the pharmaceutical product cantharides
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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