Share this entry

cantharides Syllabification: can·thar·i·des
Pronunciation: /kanˈTHerəˌdēz/

Definition of cantharides in English:

plural noun

See Spanish fly.
Example sentences
  • The most notorious is ‘Spanish fly’, also known as cantharides.
  • In 1752 a Frenchman was prescribed 2 drams of cantharides for a fever and in the next two months bedded his wife at least 87 times.
  • This finding has caused many to mistakenly assume that cantharides, or rather ‘Spanish fly,’ is an aphrodisiac.


Late Middle English: from Latin, plural of cantharis, from Greek kantharis 'Spanish fly'.

Words that rhyme with cantharides

Euripides • Hesperides

Definition of cantharides in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...