Definitions

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

  • n. A camphorated tincture of opium, taken internally for the relief of diarrhea and intestinal pain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a painkiller; a medicine which soothes or relieves pain

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Mitigating; assuaging or soothing pain.
  • n. A medicine that mitigates pain; an anodyne; specifically, camphorated tincture of opium; -- called also paregoric elexir.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In medicine, mitigating; assuaging pain.
  • n. A medicine that mitigates pain; an anodyne.
  • n. Specifically A camphorated tincture of opium, flavored with aromatics.

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

  • n. medicine used to treat diarrhea

Etymologies

Late Latin parēgoricus, soothing, from Greek parēgorikos, from parēgorein, to talk over, soothe, from parēgoros, consoling : para-, beside; see para-1 + agorā, agora; see agora1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Late Latin paregoricus, from Greek παρηγοριχος ‘encouraging, soothing’, from παρηγορειν ‘console, soothe’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Oh for the good old days when it was acceptable to go to the druggist, whisper "paregoric" to him/her, and a few drops brought blessed silence!

    The Sound Of Crazy

  • I once had an awful cold, and the old gentleman I worked for suggested equal parts honey, lemon, whiskey, and paregoric.

    Never thought I'd say I'm glad to be back at work but...

  • I didn't know one could even get paregoric any more.

    Never thought I'd say I'm glad to be back at work but...

  • Oh for the good old days when it was acceptable to go to the druggist, whisper “paregoric” to him/her, and a few drops brought blessed silence!

    The Sound Of Crazy | Her Bad Mother

  • You can still buy the stuff today, albeit paregoric or whatever the magical ingredient was -free.

    Archive 2010-02-01

  • In the supposedly drug-free past, children were put to bed with paregoric, old folks beatified themselves with Hadacol, and teetotal housewives contentedly glugged 80-proof women's trouble remedies.

    Michael Kaplan: Drugs: Losing the Longest War

  • Nonetheless, standard narcotic remedies like paregoric remained readily available into the early 20th century, and Benzedrine inhalers were marketed without prescription until the early 1950s.

    Boing Boing

  • I hate a little too much fish last night, so I had my paregoric here today, but I ` ve saved drinking it until you actually drink it.

    CNN Transcript Jun 2, 2008

  • After a while my husband realized he always took her to a different drugstore and that she always bought paregoric.

    Our Worst Neighbors Ever

  • She was addicted to paregoric and he was an alcoholic.

    Our Worst Neighbors Ever

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Paregoric, or camphorated tincture of opium, also known as tinctura opii camphorata, is a medication known for its antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic properties. It was a household remedy in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was widely used to calm fretful children. In the 20th century its use declined as governments regulated it. (In the United States, paregoric can still be found in the pharmacopeia, but it is a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act.)

    The principal active ingredient is powdered opium (containing the equivalent of 0.4 mg/mL of morphine). Other ingredients are benzoic acid, camphor, glycerin, anise oil and purified water. The main effect of this preparation is to increase the muscular tone of the intestine, and also to inhibit normal peristalsis. Its main medicinal use is to control fulminant diarrhea. It is also an antitussive (cough suppressant). Problems with its use include opiate dependency and analgesia which can mask symptoms of diseases that need treatment."
    __Wikipedia

    My grandmother used to give this opium concoction to us for "crankiness."

    February 19, 2009

  • He asked for paregoric. They sent him a big bottle; enough to poison a wilderness of babies.

    - Conrad, The Nigger of the 'Narcissus', ch. 3

    December 20, 2008

  • "Who's got some paregoric?" said Stubb, "he has the stomach-ache, I'm afraid."

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 81

    July 26, 2008