Share this entry

Salvarsan Line breaks: Sal|var|san
Pronunciation: /ˈsalvəsan/

Definition of Salvarsan in English:


Medicine , historical
Another term for arsphenamine.
Example sentences
  • In 1909 he discovered the drug Salvarsan, an arsenical compound that was the first effective drug against the organism that causes syphilis, and he used the word ‘chemotherapy’ to indicate the use of such drugs.
  • In 1910, with his Japanese colleague Sahachiro Hata, he developed arsphenamine, a synthetic preparation containing arsenic, which sold under the name of Salvarsan.
  • I would be surprised if a drug as effective as Salvarsan, which cured many, were in clinical use as quickly, but not surprised if it shared Salvarsan's defects - substantial side effects and expense.


Early 20th century: from German, from Latin salvare 'save' + German Arsenik 'arsenic' + -an.

Definition of Salvarsan 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 haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhɔːti
arrogantly superior and disdainful