materia medica love

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The scientific study of medicinal drugs and their sources, preparation, and use.
  • n. Substances used in the preparation of medicinal drugs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the study of the origin, preparation, dosage and administration of medical drugs; the substances so used

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Material or substance used in the composition of remedies; -- a general term for all substances used as curative agents in medicine.
  • That branch of medical science which treats of the sources, nature and properties of all the substances that are employed for the cure of diseases, primarily with natural preparations, rather than pure or synthetic medicines; pharmacognosy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Medicinal agencies collectively; the various remedial substances employed in medicine.
  • n. That branch of medical science which treats of the various substances, natural and artificial, which are employed in the practice of medicine, and embraces an explanation of their nature and modes of action.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the science or study of drugs: their preparation and properties and uses and effects

Etymologies

New Latin māteria medica (translation of Greek hulē iātrikē) : Latin māteria, material + Latin medica, feminine of medicus, medical.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin materia ("material") + medica, from medicus ("medical") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • On the same kind of analogy, a German doctor has introduced hemlock and other poisons, as specifics, into the materia medica. —

    The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

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Comments

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  • "...Oliver Wendell Holmes, the physician father of the Supreme Court justice, was not much overstating when he declared, 'I firmly believe that if the whole materia medica, as now used, could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind—and all the worse for fishes.'"
    —John M. Barry, The Great Influenza (NY: Penguin Books, 2004), 31

    February 11, 2009