A dangerous, sometimes fatal, preparation of powdered, dried Spanish flies, formerly used internally as a diuretic and aphrodisiac and externally as a skin irritant.
(entomology) Cantharides, a genus of coleopterous insects, formerly also taken to include aphids.
Spanish fly, a vesicant extracted from the beetle Lytta vesicatoria (alternatively classified Cantharis vesicatoria), popularly held to have aphrodisiac properties.
Origin of cantharides
Latin pl. ofcanthariscantharid-Spanish flyfrom Greek kantharisfrom diminutive ofkantharosdung beetle
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
Cantharides Sentence Examples
Cantharides owe their value to the presence of a peculiar chemical principle, to which the name cantharidin has been given.
Cantharidin constitutes from z to r% of cantharides.
The British Pharmacopeia contains a large number of preparations of cantharides, but the only one needing special mention is the tincture, which is meant for internal administration; the small dose is noteworthy, five minims being probably the maximum for safety.
The external action of cantharides or cantharidin is extremely characteristic. When it is applied to the skin there are no obvious consequences for some hours.