Definition of curare in English:

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Pronunciation: /kyo͝oˈrärē/


A bitter, resinous substance obtained from the bark and stems of some South American plants. It paralyzes the motor nerves and is traditionally used by some Indian peoples to poison their arrows and blowpipe darts.
  • Curare is obtained from Curarea species and Chondodendron tomentosum (family Menispermaceae), and Strychnos toxifera (family Loganiaceae).
Example sentences
  • Their bark and roots contain curare, a lethal poison, which in small doses is now used as a muscle relaxant for open-heart surgery.
  • They use blowguns and darts dipped in a type of poison called curare, which instantly paralyzes an animal.
  • He would have had first hand experience with this concept, as he was instrumental in unraveling the secret of curare, a South American arrow poison.


Late 18th century: from a Carib word, partly via Spanish and Portuguese.

Words that rhyme with curare

askari, Bari, Cagliari, calamari, Campari, charivari, Ferrari, Harare, Kalahari, Mari, Mata Hari, Qatari, Rastafari, safari, sari, Scutari, shikari, sparry, starry, Stradivari, tamari, terramare, Vasari, Zanzibari

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cu·ra·re

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