Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A hard indigestible mass of material, such as hair, plant fibers, or seeds, found in the stomach or intestine of animals, especially ruminants and sometimes humans. Bezoars were formerly considered to be antidotes to poisons and to possess magic properties.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name for certain calculi or concretions found in the stomach or intestines of some animals (especially ruminants), formerly supposed to be efficacious in preventing the fatal effects of poison, and still held in estimation in some eastern countries.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A calculous concretion found in the intestines of certain ruminant animals (as the wild goat, the gazelle, and the Peruvian llama) formerly regarded as an unfailing antidote for poison, and a certain remedy for eruptive, pestilential, or putrid diseases. Hence: Any antidote or panacea.
  • noun See Antelope.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the wild goat (Capra ægagrus).
  • noun an old preparation of oxide of antimony.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun chiefly UK A mass, usually of hair or undigested vegetable matter, found in an animal's intestines. A hairball.
  • noun An enterolith.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English bezear, stone used as antidote to poison, probably from Old French bezahar, gastric or intestinal mass used as antidote to poison, from Arabic bāzahr, from Persian pādzahr : pād-, protector (from Avestan pātar-; see pā- in Indo-European roots) + zahr, poison (from Middle Persian; see gwhen- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Persian پادزهر (pâdzahr, "to expel poison") (In ancient times, bezoars from animals were ground up and ingested as remedies for various maladies and as antidotes to poisons.)

Examples

  • There is a famous law-case of James the First's time, in which a goldsmith sold a hundred pounds 'worth of what he called bezoar, which was proved to be false, and the purchaser got a verdict against him.

    Complete Project Gutenberg Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Works

  • There is a famous law-case of James the First's time, in which a goldsmith sold a hundred pounds 'worth of what he called bezoar, which was proved to be false, and the purchaser got a verdict against him.

    Medical Essays, 1842-1882

  • Another, chicken-egg sized bezoar is beautifully mounted in an engraved and enameled gold framework that was apparently designed to be suspended from a chain.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • Another, chicken-egg sized bezoar is beautifully mounted in an engraved and enameled gold framework that was apparently designed to be suspended from a chain.

    Weird Stones

  • A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons.

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

  • This would be a tragedy because the bezoar is a resilient wild species that crosses readily with domestic goats, and it could pass on its genetic inheritance for heat, drought, and cold tolerance: disease resistance; and other survival qualities.

    1 Microcattle

  • It produces the anti-poison called bezoar stone, (called in the Arabic _Bide El Horrek_, i.e. the testicle of the Horreh.)

    An Account of Timbuctoo and Housa Territories in the Interior of Africa

  • In the East the most celebrated of these stones, since the period of Arabic civilisation, is called a bezoar-stone, "Bezoar" is the Persian word for "antidote," and does not apply only to a stone.

    More Science From an Easy Chair

  • It was called the bezoar stone, and was a concretion chiefly of resinous bile and magnesia, and the rest inert vegetable matter.

    Anecdotes of the Habits and Instinct of Animals

  • It's clear that bezoar stones are now thoroughly explained (like a pearl, bezoar stones - as opposed to another kind of bezoar, like a hairy bezoar - are usually caused by the initial introduction of some irritant into the digestive tract).

    Weird Stones

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