American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A deciduous tree (Antiaris toxicaria) of tropical Africa and Asia that yields a latex used as an arrow poison.
- n. The poison obtained from this tree or from similar trees.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The poisonous sap of different trees of the Malayan and Philippine Islands, more or less used for arrow-poison. The upas-antiar is yielded by the antiar or upas-tree. (See def. 2 and antiar.) The upas tieuté, or upas radja, is from the chettik or tjettek, Strychnos Tieuté, one of the strychnine-trees.
- n. The tree Antiaris toxicaria, one of the largest Javanese trees, having a cylindrical stem 60 or 70 feet high below the branches. Upon incision a poisonous milky juice flows from the trunk, concreting into a gum, which is mixed with the seed of Capsicum frutescens and various aromatic substances to form one kind of arrow-poison. The action of the poison is first purgative and emetic, then narcotic, destroying life by tetanic convulsions. Fable invests this tree with a deadly influence upon whatever comes under its branches. It is true that when the tree is felled or the bark extensively wounded it exhales an effluvium producing cutaneous eruptions; otherwise the upas may be approached and ascended like other trees. See
- n. Figuratively, something baneful or pernicious from a moral point of view: as, the upas of drunkenness.
- n. botany A tree Antiaris toxicaria of the breadfruit family, common in the forests of Java and the neighboring islands, with poisonous secretions.
- n. uncountable A virulent poison used in Java and the adjacent islands for poisoning arrows derived from the tree.
- n. uncountable A poison prepared from a climbing plant Strychnos tieute
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A tree (Antiaris toxicaria) of the Breadfruit family, common in the forests of Java and the neighboring islands. Its secretions are poisonous, and it has been fabulously reported that the atmosphere about it is deleterious. Called also
- n. A virulent poison used in Java and the adjacent islands for poisoning arrows. One kind, upas antiar, is derived from the upas tree (Antiaris toxicaria). Upas tieute is prepared from a climbing plant (Strychnos Tieute).
- From Malay upas. (Wiktionary)
- Malay (pohun) upas, poison (tree), of Javanese origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“(presented to the Royal Society), upon the effects of similar experiments made with what he terms the upas antiar.”
“The former he states to be a decoction or extract from the bark of the roots of a climbing plant of the genus strychnos, called tieute by the natives of Java; and the latter to be a milky, bitter, and yellowish juice, running from an incision in the bark of a large tree (new genus) called antiar; the word upas meaning, as M. Leschenault understands, vegetable poison of any kind.”
“The word 'upas,' in the language of the natives, means poison, and there is in the island a valley called the upas, or poison, valley.”
“The laburnum, with its golden rain, is potentially a kind of upas tree.”
“Fuller would, indeed, recommend moderation in the practice; but of 'upas', 'woorara', and persecution, there are no moderate doses possible.”
“upas' tree -- sulphurous fumes attend final stages.”
“Great stuff - this can actually make a difference to their work, and I feel that is is actually worth scouring the house for things people have not used for a few weeks, in the secure knowledge that they will be put to good use and go to a good cause, rather than my previous sneaking suspicion that they would end upas landfill.”
“One day, (though I pray not in my lifetime), the people will awaken and will rise upas they realize there is still as much money in the land as there ever was.”
“This was a family favorite growing upas was “The Blue Dahlia” on the list of classic noir rerun on television.”
“Mays remarks that the upas tree was a favourite image of C's from schooldays on, but”
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