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

  • n. A solvent, especially one used in extracting compounds from plant and animal tissues and preparing drugs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any solvent used for extracting medicinal compounds from plants etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any substance which dissolves a solid body; a solvent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Any fluid substance which dissolves a solid; a solvent.

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

  • n. (archaic) a solvent
  • n. the monthly discharge of blood from the uterus of nonpregnant women from puberty to menopause


Middle English, menstruation, from Medieval Latin mēnstruum, sing. of Latin mēnstrua, menses; see menstruate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin mēnstruum ("menstrual discharge"). (Wiktionary)


  • It is what chemists would call the 'menstruum' in which all our qualities are worked and made manifest, which holds them together.

    Selections from the Letters of Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury to Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • Keeping this doughty resolution, he sat down to dinner with his counsel learned in the law; and speedily they dispatched the dish of chops which was set before them, and the better part of the bottle of old port, which served for its menstruum.

    Saint Ronan's Well

  • So the Wazir bade unbind him and he rose and taking virgin glass,554 brayed it and mixed it with unslaked lime and a menstruum of onion-juice.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Nilotes held the moon to be of “male-female sex,” the men sacrificing to Luna and the women to Lunus. 387 Isis also was a hermaphrodite, the idea being that Aether or Air (the lower heavens) was the menstruum of generative nature; and Damascius explained the tenet by the all-fruitful and prolific powers of the atmosphere.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Note 55: Dinant, p. 23: "Dicit autem ARISTOTELES feminam quodammodo esse marem imperfectum et eius menstruum sanguinem esse indigestum sperma; similem superfluitatem esse sperma viri et menstruum sanguinem mulieris excepto quod superfluitas hec maior in femina est et colorem retinet sanguineum propter defectum caloris digerentis." back

    A Tender Age: Cultural Anxieties over the Child in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

  • Note 65: The only reference I have found of medical writings linking women's monthly cycles with the Christian notion of original sin appears in the work of a woman, Hildegard of Bingen's Causae et curae (ed.P. Kaiser [Leipzig, 1903]), in which the author emphatically drew a parallel between Eve's actions in the Garden and menstrual cycles: Quare menstruum.

    A Tender Age: Cultural Anxieties over the Child in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

  • Note 164: Canon, 1.3.3, fols. 66va-b: "Nutrici preterea est precipiendum ut temperato utatur et ut nutrientibus boni chimi alatur et ne ullo modo aliquis cum ea coeat: hoc enim sanguinem permiscet menstruum, et lactis odorem corrumpit, et ipsius minuit quantitatem, immo fortasse impregnatur in quo nocumentum duobus attinens filiis existit." back

    A Tender Age: Cultural Anxieties over the Child in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

  • “Prandy was the best menstruum for onions and sheese.”

    The Adventures of Roderick Random

  • While most tinctures are in a ratio of one part herb to five parts menstruum, extracts are more concentrated, as much as one to one.


  • “Though we talk of the progress that the race has made in learning and enlightenment,” he wrote, “it is alarming to notice … how germs which men deem dead really lurk dormant for ages, and then develop themselves with startling rapidity when they find the proper menstruum”:

    A Furnace Afloat


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  • I like it! Sounds like a "thrumming menstruation".

    July 13, 2008

  • So this is a "pretty word", Mercy? Just see my profile.

    July 13, 2008

  • Does it mean taking a dump? Hurr hurr.

    March 29, 2008

  • What arcane distinction could Weirdnet be drawing between its first and second definitions?

    And what's with that fourth definition? What mysterious 'processes' does it refer to?

    Oh, Weirdnet, you do tease us so.

    March 29, 2008