from The 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.
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.
This word comes from the Latin 'Mithridatius,' pertaining to Mithridates, king of Pontus, who is said to have acquired tolerance for poison.