a drug supposed by the ancient Greeks to cause forgetfulness of sorrow
Origin of nepentheClassical Latin nepenthes from Classical Greek nepenth?s, removing sorrow from ne-, not (see no) + penthos, sorrow, grief from Indo-European base an unverified form kwenth-, to suffer, bear from source Old Irish cessaim, (I) suffer
- A drug mentioned in the Odyssey as a remedy for grief.
- Something that induces forgetfulness of sorrow or eases pain.
Origin of nepentheAlteration of Latin nēpenthes from Greek nēpenthes (pharmakon) grief-banishing (drug), nepenthe neuter of nēpenthēs nē- not ; see ne in Indo-European roots. penthos grief ; see kwent(h)- in Indo-European roots.
- (archaic) A drug that relieves one of emotional pain, grief or sorrow; nepenthes. [from 16th c.]
Back-formation from nepenthes.