from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A medical composition or electuary believed to be an antidote or counter-poison.

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

  • noun obsolete A kind of antidote for poisons; a counter poison formerly in vogue.

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

  • noun obsolete A kind of antidote for poisons.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French orviétan: compare Italian orvietano. So called because invented at Orvieto, in Italy.


  • They feasted so bountifully that they both fell ill, and were forced to remain two days on the island, taking doses of orvietan, before they were able to resume their journey.

    France and England in North America; a Series of Historical Narratives — Part 3

  • He shaved the heads of the children, as was the custom of the tribe, bled certain asthmatic persons, and dosed others with orvietan, the famous panacea of his time, of which he had brought with him a good supply.

    France and England in North America; a Series of Historical Narratives — Part 3

  • The three white men could get no food but unripe berries, from the effects of which Hennepin thinks they might all have died, but for timely doses of his orvietan.

    France and England in North America; a Series of Historical Narratives — Part 3

  • I have taken three rufuses, or pestilential pills; two spoonfuls of alexiteral water; the same quantity of anti-pestilential decoction; half as much of Sir Theodore Mayerne's electuary; and a large dose of orvietan.

    Old Saint Paul's A Tale of the Plague and the Fire

  • Madame Brunel, slipped into her hand a box of orvietan, some pieces of which she hastened to swallow, while another lady gave her a glass of water; but at the instant when she was lifting it to her mouth, the chevalier broke it between her teeth, and one of the pieces of glass cut her lips.

    Celebrated Crimes (Complete)

  • The abbe pushed them away, and arriving at the marquise, put his pistol to her heart; but Madame Brunel, the same who had previously given the marquise a box of orvietan, lifted up the barrel with her hand, so that the shot went off into the air, and the bullet instead of striking the marquise lodged in the cornice of the ceiling.

    Celebrated Crimes (Complete)

  • We are now to have, as a remedy for ills, not orvietan, or opium, or any quack medicine, but plenty of air and water, with due attention to warmth and freedom in dress, and simplicity of diet.

    Woman in the Ninteenth Century and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition and Duties, of Woman.

  • "I have, sir," replied Wayland; "and with these drugs will I, this very day, compound the true orvietan, that noble medicine which is so seldom found genuine and effective within these realms of Europe, for want of that most rare and precious drug which I got but now from Yoglan."


  • "He is in little danger from what he has hitherto taken, provided he swallow the matter of a bean's size of the orvietan every morning fasting; but let him beware of a relapse."


  • ` ` the wound will be a trifle, for the blood is scarce drawn --- an angry cat had dealt a deeper scratch --- and for me, I have but to take a drachm of orvietan by way of precaution, though it is needless. ''

    The Talisman


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  • If Ernest should even see a pun

    Unwillingly the deed is done.

    His skull is cluttered

    With puns unuttered.

    He needs a cleansing orvietan.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    November 2, 2014