from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A hard indigestible mass of material, such as hair, vegetable fibers, or fruits, found in the stomachs or intestines of animals, especially ruminants, and humans. It was formerly considered to be an antidote to poisons and to possess magic properties.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A mass, usually of hair or undigested vegetable matter, found in an animal's intestines. A hairball.
- n. An enterolith.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. 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.
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.
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.
A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons.
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.
It produces the anti-poison called bezoar stone, (called in the Arabic _Bide El Horrek_, i.e. the testicle of the Horreh.)
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.
It was called the bezoar stone, and was a concretion chiefly of resinous bile and magnesia, and the rest inert vegetable matter.
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).
Jónas Pálmason roasts ravens' heads and cracks their skulls in search of the bezoar, a magical stone described by Paracelsus which can heal human ailments and may help in the search for the philosopher's stone.
No more bezoar stones, whatever the blasted things may be!