Definitions
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noun (cantharides)
  1. (context, usually in plural) The Spanish fly, Lytta vesicatoria, taken to have aphrodisiac properties.
    • 1964, Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun:
    • :Speaking her name, it was as if he spake pure cantharides. "Quick," she panted. "There is time before they are all about. Again."
    • 1992, Will Self, Cock and Bull:
    • :It"s lucky that Carol had taken the precaution of obtaining some cantharides; without them the evening might have been a dead loss.
    • 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 612:
    • :Basically Louis's drug dealer and pimp, Richelieu, known for opium recipes to fit all occasions, is also credited with the introduction into France of the cantharides, or Spanish fly.
Etymology: From Latin, cantharis, from Ancient Greek (polytonic, ).


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