Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In old pharmacy, one of various compositions of many ingredients in the form of electuaries, supposed to serve either as an antidote or as a preservative against poison.
This word comes from the Latin 'Mithridatius,' pertaining to Mithridates, king of Pontus, who is said to have acquired tolerance for poison.
“Mithridates, who had made himself poison-proof, gave us the now forgotten word ‘mithridate’, for antidote; as from Hippocrates we derived ‘hipocras’, or ‘ypocras’, a word often occurring in our early poets, being a wine supposed to be mingled after his receipt.”
“What silly mariner in my ship hath not bought or begged mithridate or a pinch of achimenius wherewith to make good his voyage?”
“The medicine mithridate forms a part of many of these prescriptions; it does not seem to be regarded as an alexipharmic, but as a soporific.”