molasses; treacle.
a paste formerly used as an antidote to poison, especially snake venom, made from 60 or 70 different drugs pulverized and mixed with honey.

Also the·ri·a·ca [thuh-rahy-uh-kuh] /θəˈraɪ ə kə/.

Origin of theriac

before 1000; < Latin thēriaca antidote to poison < Greek thēriakḗ, feminine of thēriakós, equivalent to thērí(on) wild beast + -akos -ac; replacing Middle English tiriake, Old English tȳriaca < Medieval Latin, variant of thēriaca
Related formsthe·ri·a·cal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for theriac

elixir, nostrum, catholicon, theriac

Examples from the Web for theriac

Historical Examples of theriac

  • Then there is a commentary on the "Cantica of Avicenna," and a tractate on the "Theriac."

  • He is partial to long controversies, calmuniates priest and theriac.

    The Book of Masks

    Remy de Gourmont

  • There he found that the most called for remedy was a theriac.


    James J. Walsh

  • Theriac is only the more rigid form of the same word, the scholarly, as distinguished from the popular, adoption of it.

    English Past and Present

    Richard Chevenix Trench

  • But we lawyers boil our theriac even nowadays and regard the most important study, the study of reality, with arrogance.

British Dictionary definitions for theriac


noun archaic

an ointment or potion of varying composition, used as an antidote to a poison

Word Origin for theriac

C14: from Latin thēriaca antidote to poison
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