- a dangerous, sometimes fatal, preparation of powdered, dried Spanish flies, formerly used internally as a diuretic and aphrodisiac and externally as a skin irritant
Origin of cantharidesMiddle English cantarides ; from Classical Latin cantharides, plural of cantharis, kind of beetle, Spanish fly ; from Classical Greek kantharis, blister beetle
See Spanish fly.
Origin of cantharidesLatin, pl. of cantharis, cantharid-, Spanish fly, from Greek kantharis, from diminutive of kantharos, dung beetle.