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

  • noun A camphorated tincture of opium, taken internally for the relief of diarrhea and intestinal pain.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In medicine, mitigating; assuaging pain.
  • noun A medicine that mitigates pain; an anodyne.
  • noun Specifically A camphorated tincture of opium, flavored with aromatics.

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

  • noun (Med.) A medicine that mitigates pain; an anodyne; specifically, camphorated tincture of opium; -- called also paregoric elexir.
  • adjective Mitigating; assuaging or soothing pain.

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

  • noun a painkiller; a medicine which soothes or relieves pain

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

  • noun medicine used to treat diarrhea


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

[Late Latin parēgoricus, soothing, from Greek parēgorikos, from parēgorein, to talk over, soothe, from parēgoros, consoling : para-, beside; see para– + agorā, agora; see agora.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Late Latin paregoricus, from Greek παρηγοριχος ‘encouraging, soothing’, from παρηγορειν ‘console, soothe’.


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  • "Who's got some paregoric?" said Stubb, "he has the stomach-ache, I'm afraid."

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 81

    July 26, 2008

  • He asked for paregoric. They sent him a big bottle; enough to poison a wilderness of babies.

    - Conrad, The Nigger of the 'Narcissus', ch. 3

    December 20, 2008

  • "Paregoric, or camphorated tincture of opium, also known as tinctura opii camphorata, is a medication known for its antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic properties. It was a household remedy in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was widely used to calm fretful children. In the 20th century its use declined as governments regulated it. (In the United States, paregoric can still be found in the pharmacopeia, but it is a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act.)

    The principal active ingredient is powdered opium (containing the equivalent of 0.4 mg/mL of morphine). Other ingredients are benzoic acid, camphor, glycerin, anise oil and purified water. The main effect of this preparation is to increase the muscular tone of the intestine, and also to inhibit normal peristalsis. Its main medicinal use is to control fulminant diarrhea. It is also an antitussive (cough suppressant). Problems with its use include opiate dependency and analgesia which can mask symptoms of diseases that need treatment."


    My grandmother used to give this opium concoction to us for "crankiness."

    February 19, 2009